Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 3 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Aug 8, 2014
    90
    In the highly imperfect world of contemporary romantic comedies, What If is as close to perfect as anything we've got, not least for the way it captures the abject hopefulness of young people who'd like to be in love but don't know how to go about it.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 7, 2014
    88
    What If doesn't break new ground. But it has charm to spare, and Radcliffe and Kazan are irresistible. No ifs about it.
  3. 80
    In the end, What If belongs to Zoe Kazan. And both she and it are wonderful.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 7, 2014
    80
    What If could be the breakthrough film that underappreciated Canadian director Michael Dowse (“Goon” and “It’s All Gone Pete Tong”) has been waiting for, and at any rate it’s a sparkling screwball highball, perfect for a late-summer weekend.
  5. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Aug 7, 2014
    80
    Director Michael Dowse (from the underrated Topher Grace comedy "Take Me Home Tonight") fuels the story with atmosphere, with lots of nighttime activity and bustle. He keeps things grounded in reality, though little touches (Chantry imagines her drawings coming to life) add an extra — and, perhaps, excessive — sweetness.
  6. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Aug 6, 2014
    80
    Perhaps the best thing about What If, the new romantic comedy from director Michael Dowse (“Goon”), is that for all of its banter and batted eyes, from its awkward introductions to its inevitable climactic declarations of love, everyone in it feels like a real human being.
  7. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 8, 2014
    75
    What If boasts a couple of near-classic comic moments, one involving jalapeno peppers and a precipitous fall.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    Aug 8, 2014
    75
    While the outcome is pretty predictable and borderline formulaic, this is a well-paced romantic comedy that works due to its engaging cast — with special kudos going out to Radcliffe and Kazan, but also Driver, who delivers perfectly as the fast-talking, libido-driven hunkster.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 7, 2014
    75
    Fortunately, What If rights itself well before the finish and finds its way back to the truth and the light.
  10. 75
    Kazan, as she proved in “Ruby Sparks,” has a whimsical, quirky girl-next-door appeal. Radcliffe, wearing post-Harry Potter stubble and delivering toothy, jaw-jutting grins, makes it easy for us to believe he cannot get her out of his head.
  11. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Sep 15, 2013
    72
    The F Word would be commendable on the strength of its unusual wit and warmth alone, but it becomes a far more satisfying (even somewhat illuminating) experience because it doesn’t shy away from the often ugly psychology engendered by cross-gendered friendships.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 6, 2014
    70
    At a time when the once-dominant romantic comedy is an endangered species, What If proves the formulas can still work, under the right circumstances, and without really needing to tweak the recipe much.
  13. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Sep 15, 2013
    70
    Hitting all the rom-com notes with wit and some charm, it'll be a crowd-pleaser.
  14. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 15, 2013
    70
    Roughly three parts charming to one part cloying, The F Word attempts and largely succeeds at pulling off a smart, self-aware riff on romantic-comedy conventions while maintaining a core of earnest feeling.
  15. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 14, 2014
    67
    Tries to pretend that its premise isn't timeworn, and thanks to charming lead performances, it almost succeeds. But not quite.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 8, 2014
    67
    Radcliffe and Kazan have a nice nerds-in-clover rapport. If only the movie wasn’t so satisfied with how cute it is.
  17. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Aug 6, 2014
    67
    There’s the requisite cutesiness: magnetic poetry, unnecessary animated sequences, multiple discussions of Elvis’ eating habits, a screening of The Princess Bride. (Perhaps "When Harry Met Sally" would have been too obvious.)
  18. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Aug 6, 2014
    67
    Always thoroughly pleasant, and that's entirely due to the cast, who all turn in breezy performances.
  19. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 15, 2013
    67
    It tries to have some bite to its will-they-or-won't-they scenario but ultimately winds up toothless.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 11, 2014
    63
    The result, while capable of painlessly occupying 90 minutes, isn't remarkable enough to recommend as more than a home video rental.
  21. Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Aug 8, 2014
    63
    Everything about the romantic comedy What If is cute. Utterly cute. Undeniably cute. Uber–duber cute.
  22. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Aug 7, 2014
    63
    Nothing to line up for or write home about, but it’s a pleasant time-passer, not a regrettable time-waster.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Aug 7, 2014
    63
    If you can suspend your incredulity for a moment, What If has its bright moments. And that’s thanks in large part to its leads, who manage to do what Radcliffe has always done well: conjure up a little magic.
  24. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Aug 20, 2014
    50
    Occasional animated inserts inspired by Chantry’s work as an illustrator, while accomplished, inject an off-note of whimsy that doesn’t quite square with the script’s stabs at edgier humor.
  25. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Aug 14, 2014
    50
    There was, however, another question the screenwriter should have asked: Why does the script focus on the wrong couple?
  26. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 13, 2014
    50
    Ultimately, the movie's energy rises and falls on the presence of Adam Driver as Wallace's libido-on-legs friend, who can make you believe sex can solve anything. Except this movie.
  27. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Aug 7, 2014
    50
    Although What If nobly attempts to honor and embellish the tropes of the genre rather than reinvent them, the filmmakers get tripped up on their own good intentions and uncertain comedic instincts.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 7, 2014
    50
    The movie has a problem, too: Spall is likable, Kazan is adorable, Driver is amusing enough as the blowhard best friend, and Radcliffe as Wallace is . . . a passive-aggressive lump.
  29. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 7, 2014
    50
    What If brings up the distinctions among wit, jokes and robotic banter, and this new romantic comedy has a bit of the first and a few of the second, but it's largely a case of the third.
  30. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 7, 2014
    40
    No one ever stops talking. Twenty-somethings talk incessant small talk, or cute talk, or fatuous talk that's supposed to be clever.
  31. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Aug 7, 2014
    40
    A balloon of cuteness that makes you yearn for a pin, What If is Saturday night comfort food for those who need to believe that even the most curdled among us can find a mate.
  32. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Aug 7, 2014
    40
    Anyone looking for a date-night flick will be inclined to fall for Michael Dowse’s aggressively adorable What If. Just be warned: The single-minded determination to win you over may wind up pushing you away.
  33. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Sep 15, 2013
    40
    It's pulled this way and that by a hiddly-fiddly soundtrack, spun senseless by scene after scene of Radcliffe and Kazan trading flirtatious banter.
  34. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Aug 3, 2014
    38
    Right up to its simplistic ending, the film is pleased to regurgitate the contrived tropes of the genre without ever honestly addressing the ethics of romantic boundaries.
  35. Reviewed by: Joe McGovern
    Aug 7, 2014
    33
    An unctuous rom-com that runs its characters through every plastic cliché of a pre-Oscar McConaughey vehicle, ultimately causing us to root against the vacuous couple and their predetermined happy ending.
  36. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 6, 2014
    25
    What If is a case of the cutes the way the Black Death was a case of infectious disease. The movie is saturated with cute, teeming with cute, rancid with cute. I’d endured all a man could fairly be expected to take when I glanced at my watch and realized there were still 95 minutes to go.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Aug 16, 2014
    6
    In his first rom-com Daniel Radcliffe meets a cute charmer (Zoe Kazan) and the chemistry is immediate. Turns out she has a bf, so they decideIn his first rom-com Daniel Radcliffe meets a cute charmer (Zoe Kazan) and the chemistry is immediate. Turns out she has a bf, so they decide to just be friends. From there, it plays out exactly to formula. Luckily, Radcliffe and Kazan are both engaging, so that helps compensate for the film's uneven attempts to be eccentric. Even so, there's sufficient humor (and enjoyable support from Adam Driver) to keep it entertaining. Nothing new here, but fans of the genre (and Radcliffe) will find it appealing. Full Review »
  2. Sep 27, 2014
    6
    Unremarkable romcom with some unusually sparkling dialogue.

    It seems much longer than its 93 minute running time. I understand the original
    Unremarkable romcom with some unusually sparkling dialogue.

    It seems much longer than its 93 minute running time. I understand the original cut, under the title "The F Word" ran a full 101 minutes. I can't even imagine sitting through this for that long.

    Watch it if you're a fan of witty banter and are willing to watch another textbook story of love-delayed.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2014
    1
    This movie is not good... It's not interesting and has no good qualities to it. Aside from a few chuckles there is nothing here. A joke thatThis movie is not good... It's not interesting and has no good qualities to it. Aside from a few chuckles there is nothing here. A joke that ran throughout the whole movie that I guess was supposed to be funny was not. The plot is entirely predictable from start to finish. You don't feel for the characters like you should in this type of movie. All characters are shallow and have nothing to them. The banter between the two main leads gets tiring after the first 5 minutes and you just want it to end. I was sitting in the theater wondering why I was there. It has nothing to differ itself from other average romantic comedies. This movie has so many cliches it is unbearable. Avoid this. Full Review »