The F Word
FUBAR and Goon director Michael Dowse makes a surprising swerve into sweetness with this winning romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.
Med school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) is a hopeless romantic who's been repeatedly burned, first by his parents in a traumatic divorce, then by his cheating ex. He's put his life on hold, until he meets animator Chantry (Zoe Kazan) — who, unfortunately, is already in a relationship. Ignoring their attraction, the pair decide to remain friends, which turns out to be far more difficult than they imagined. It might seem odd that Mike Dowse (Goon, FUBAR) could make the year's freshest and most winning romantic comedy, but then one should remember the genuine tenderness that underlay the horrifying mullets and beer-guzzling in those earlier films. Patiently allowing Wallace and Chantry to stumble towards recognizing their connection, and filling out the margins with a cast of intriguing secondary characters, Dowse and screenwriter Elan Mastai have made a rare romantic comedy: sensitive, contemporary, and most importantly very, very funny.
Canada's Top Ten Panelist rationale
Michael Dowse isn't the first name that springs to mind when I think of romantic comedy, which in part makes his latest film such a delightful surprise. Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe infuse the smart script with abundant warmth as their characters navigate the complicated waters of platonic girl-guy friendship. Charming and sweet, The F Word is a thoroughly modern take on the genre. — Alison Zimmer