Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"What If Being Friends Has Its Benefits": Another movie about friends in a love triangle

What If  ... Being Friends Has Its Benefits” (by Michael Dowse) is a new romantic comedy, based in Toronto, with post-Potter Daniel Radcliffe, now 25, as a rather rudderless young man, about to negotiate a love triangle.  The film is rather like a heterosexual counterpart to “Heartbeats”, reviewed Aug. 17.

Wallace (Radcliffe’s character) has dropped out of medical school over losing a relationship, which sounds stupid.  He meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) when her boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall) has a silly kitchen accident and goes to the emergency room.  They feel attracted, but agree to be "just friends".

Ben recovers, and will travel Europe a lot, starting out in Dublin, where he will head up a team to negotiate an international copyright law treaty.  This sounds a lot like TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is controversial.  One problem is that, particularly overseas, legacy companies want to force service providers to take much more potential downstream liability for copyright infringements in user generated content.  The movie never gets around to going there.  Chantry, however, has a potentially challenging opportunity in Taipei.  The film, while using Toronto and Dublin locations effectively, satisfies itself with animation to portray Taipei – using metaphorical birds carried over from fantasies earlier in the story.

There’s another couple in the story – Adam Driver is rather overbearing as the handsome Allan (a head taller than Wallace), and at one point, there is a prank to see if Wallace and Chantry will become more than just friends when forced to camp out on the shores of Lake Ontario overnight.

Radcliffe is definitely a grown man now – and was starting to look such in the last three Potter movies.
It's interesting that Wallace's sister expects him to babysit for his nephew.  
I can relate to friendship as a euphemism for a crush, past personal experience, way back.  

The official site is here (CBS Films and E-One).

I saw the film at the AMC Shirlington in Arlington before a scant audience. 

Wikipedia attribution link for CN Tower picture, visited it in July 1982. 


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