Let’s get one thing straight before I get on with this review, the movie will be referred to as The F Word and not by its less cool title for the US/UK/Ireland and Sweden releases. They shouldn’t have changed the name but whatever. I’m over it. I have been dying to see this movie since it premiered at TIFF last year for two main reasons: Daniel Radcliffe and Toronto. Like many I was curious to see Radcliffe as a male lead in a romantic comedy, albeit an unconventional one. And the fact that the movie was shot and is set in Toronto was another big factor. Many shows and movies are often shot in the city I currently live in but actually take place in New York. (Minor spoilers obviously!)
If you’ve seen the trailer, then you’d know that the basic premise is Daniel Radcliffe’s character Wallace meets Zoe Kazan’s character Chandry and they both instantly have a connection, except Chandry has a boyfriend. They agree to be friends however and the movie takes us through their relationship to see what happens. Initially when I first saw the teasers for it, I thought it would be a commentary on if men and women can be platonic friends and in a way it is, but that’s not the main focus of the movie. Instead, it deals with the concept of soul mates and the kicker is what if you meet your soul mate and she’s already taken? The result is a wonderfully funny, beautifully shot and perfectly acted film that in my opinion is the best romantic comedy of the year.
I mean sure, the female lead has an unrealistically cool creative job and the male lead is Harry Potter, but it feels very grounded and relatable. It’s mostly because of the undeniable chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan. You just can’t help but root for them from the get go. They have a very similar rapport as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer, which I also thought of while watching this movie. They’re similar but in more a “two sides of the same coin” kind of way.
The rest of the cast is equally as amazing. Megan Park plays Chandry’s sister Dalia and steals the spotlight quite a few times. And so does the other couple of the story played by Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis. Chandry’s boyfriend, Rafe Spall, is just appealing enough on paper for us to understand why she’s with him but also obnoxious enough to make us root for Wallace instead.
But accolades must also be given to the script. After watching the movie, I read this interview of the screenwriter Elan Mastai by The Mary Sue and he lists The Apartment and His Girl Friday as two movies that influenced him, my two favorite romantic comedies of all time. I immediately bought a Blu-ray of the former and I have a poster of the latter in my living room. As soon as I read that, I immediately understood why I love this movie so much. In all three movies, the banter between the two leads are just unbelievably witty, memorable and funny. They can both hold their own against each other, they’re both evenly matched and absolutely perfect for one another.
Other things I loved about the movie: the amazing graphics (thanks to Chandry’s graphic artist background), the music, and the fact that the city is also a character. Although it’s pretty funny how everyone just seems to run into each other or how they played it fast and loose with Toronto’s inefficient transit system (There’s no way you can get all over the city that fast!). As someone who’s obsessed with Fool’s Gold Loaf, I very much appreciated the role it played as well.
While my boyfriend expected the ending, as he does all endings of every movie we see together (seriously, it’s annoying), I was actually pleasantly surprised they chose to end it the way they did. And fine, it is essentially a rom-com so I should’ve seen it coming but I’m very cynical when it comes to romance in movies, probably because I’m a child of divorce. Needless to say, everyone ended up with the right people and I found my new favorite feel-good movie. I highly recommend you go see it.
Happy Hump Day!