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Film / The F Word

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The F Word (released as What If in the United States) is a 2013 Irish-Canadian romance comedy based on TJ Dawe and Michael Rinaldi's play Toothpaste and Cigars and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis and Rafe Spall.

Radcliffe plays Wallace, a former medical student who has been a recluse for the past year due to the breakup of a relationship, and is attending a party with his college roommate, Allan, played by Driver. While at the party, he meets Chantry (Kazan), a quirky girl who can keep up with him quip for quip. At the end of the night, he walks her home, gets her number... and learns that she has a boyfriend. He discards her number, but chance brings them back together, and they become good friends, much to the chagrin of her five year boyfriend, Ben (Spall), who's convinced that Wallace is just nosing around Chantry in the hopes of sex. Clandestinely, Wallace continues to lust after Chantry, agonizing over how he enjoys being her friend, but truly wants more.


Then, Ben accepts an opportunity to go to Dublin for a U.N. conference on copyright law, causing Wallace and Chantry to have to confront their feelings for each other, and whether they really can just be friends.

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Brick Joke: Early in the film, Chantry and Wallace exchange trivia about Fool's Gold Loaf and its connection with the Elvis legends. Near the end of the film, they surprise each other with parting gifts... homemade Fool's Gold. It also appears at their wedding reception.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Wallace's conversations inevitably go this way. One of the things that attracts him to Chantry is that she keeps up with him.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Wallace and Chantry go on a beach excursion with Allan and his girlfriend, Nicole. Nicole and Allan decide to go skinny-dipping and Wallace and Chantry, deep in Unresolved Sexual Tension with each other, decide to join them. When they exit the water, they find out that Nicole and Allan have enacted this trope, taking with them the car and leaving a single sleeping bag. Chantry is distinctly not amused, feeling that it's not only very irresponsible (it's getting very cold), but also tantamount to sexual assault by forcing her and Wallace to sleep together naked.
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  • Just Friends: Wallace and Chantry play out this trope through the majority of the film.
  • Large Ham: Allan's line: "I just had sex and I'm about to eat NACHOS! IT'S THE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!... Unless you screw it up with whatever it is you're about to say."
  • Love at First Sight: Allan is visibly taken with Nicole the moment she walks into his field of vision during the opening party scene. The attraction was mutual, as according to Nicole, "The night I met Allan I was so into him it wasn't until I woke up in his bed the next morning that I even remembered I already had a boyfriend." They end up Happily Married.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: When Chantry shows up in Dublin, Ben shows up arm-in-arm with an attractive Brazilian coworker. There's no evidence against his assertion that it really is platonic.

Alternative Title(s): What If


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