Quick Hit Movie Reviews #10: 'What If' & 'A Man Called Ove'

International movie poster for the 2013 film 'What If' starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan
In the #10 edition of quick hit movie reviews, Eclectic Pop takes a slightly more expanded look at two marvelous movies. The first is an indie from 2013 and the second is an Oscar nominated Swedish-language dramedy. Both are quality films that tackle separately familiar premises with a unique voice.

“What If” and “A Man Called Ove” intricately combine comedy with drama and romance with reality, which is no easy feat. This is how they did it…

“What If” (2013)

What if this is one of the cutest romantic comedies of the 2000s? Well, it is. “What If” follows the palatable hipster duo, Chantry (Zoe Kazan) and Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), as the 20-somethings embark on a quirky and "strictly platonic" relationship.

Immediately cast into the “friend zone” by Chantry, who is involved in a long-term relationship with her stuffy boyfriend, Wallace quickly realizes his feelings for Chantry fall into the more romantic side of the equation. Does Chantry feel the same way and is it worth risking their friendship to find out?

Other movies have delved into this subject with varying success, while “What If” knocks it out of the park. Chantry and Wallace make sense together from the moment they first meet and the anxiety as to whether they will figure this out is genuinely suspenseful.

The ending of most romantic comedies feels inevitable, and “What If’s” never does. Radcliffe and Kazan’s easygoing chemistry falls right into place as they usher one of the millennium’s best rom-coms to the finish line. Rating: 8/10 

“What If” is available to stream on Amazon Prime throughout August 2017.

Movie poster for the 2016 Swedish film 'A Man Called Ove'
[Image by Nordisk Films]

“A Man Called Ove” (2016)

Not too long ago, I privately pondered why there are so few movies currently being made that focus on telling a fictional character’s life story. Movies like “Forrest Gump” that shepherd viewers through life’s all-encompassing chapters. “A Man Called Ove” does just that.

The Swedish film tells the story of Ove (an outstanding Rolf LassgÃ¥rd), a recent widower who keeps a vigilant eye on his neighbors, much to their chagrin and quiet appreciation. Having recently been let go from his job, the curmudgeonly Ove is faced with a crossroads, as his life systematically flashes before his eyes. 

“A Man Called Ove” is tenderly crafted, phenomenally acted, and divinely directed. It consistently plays its poignancy to a perfection rarely captured, such as in one particular scene of heart-rending romance, which is guaranteed to leave an indelible impression upon all who see it. As a whole, it is moving without getting mushy and entirely inspiring thanks to the thoughtful spotlight it shines on all of its characters. Rating: 9.5/10

“A Man Called Ove” is streaming on Amazon Prime throughout August 2017. It is also available on Netflix via their mail service.

[Featured Image by Entertainment One]