Not 'The F Word' you're thinking of

Michael Dowse's 'The F Word,' starring Daniel Radcliffe, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The romantic comedy doesn't transform the genre, but it offers a good time.

The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse, is a teenage romantic comedy set in Toronto starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. An amalgamation of earlier films in the genre, The F Word is a love letter to romance and the city. What it lacks in innovation it makes up for in wit and charm.

Radcliffe plays med-school dropout Wallace opposite Kazan’s quirky animator Chantry. They meet at a party their friend, Allan (Adam Driver), is having, and they immediately hit it off. That is until Chantry admits she has a boyfriend of five years. What ensue are the trials of a friendship plagued by a one-sided romantic attachment.

While The F Word doesn’t manage to break any revolutionary ground in the romantic comedy genre, it does have a sense of lightheartedness and honesty that will appeal to this generation’s youth. Men in particular will relate to Wallace as they groan in shared sympathy and recollection of their own wayward romances. Allan is a testament to humor and lightens the tone to balance the drama of Chantry and Wallace.

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It’s hard to deny the chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan. Each has a level of authenticity that crafts the illusion that they are old friends of the audience instead of strangers on the silver screen.

The real joy of The F Word is the script. It’s easy for a romantic comedy to fall into a stereotypical patter of cliché dialogue, but The F Word feels natural. The audience can lose themselves in the evolution of this couple and easily dismiss the fourth wall.

Michael Dowse has directed Radcliffe and Kazan in a fun film full of humor and shared sympathy with the audience. It won’t go down in the history books of romantic comedies, but it will bring an evening of pleasure for those looking.

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