That said, it was very charming indeed, well executed, whimsical, and yet possessed of enough maturity that it held up as a genuine story worth caring about. Everyone concerned showed honest respect for the healthy, long term relationship underway both in word and deed (how refreshing!), and it was nice to see people genuinely balancing life priorities rather than milling around in high school-level machinations (although there was one pretty funny, if ill-advised practical joke). Relationship was about more than hookup du jour, and there were no convenient villians to rationalize self-serving behavior. Real people, real concerns, real affection, real consequence, real accountability, and no easy answers within its very easy vibe.
Radcliffe and Kazan enjoy a nice chemistry (though I wasn’t quite sure of that at the outset), and while What If didn’t require a great deal of them, they and their equally minimally-challenged castmates turned in believable and winning portrayals. A less noticeable accomplishment is its transition from stage to film, one not always made elegantly; so often, the film just smacks of being a two-dimensional version of its source, which of course it is, but of course needn’t be. Here one wouldn’t even know it but for the credits. Well done, all.
The video below has nothing whatsoever to do with the movie, and it contains no hints or spoilers, but I’m sharing it below just as something fun. I saw it just after seeing the film, and can attest that if you enjoy the vibe of this video, you’ll be charmed by What If.