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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. He has put his life
on hold — until he meets animator Chantry
(Zoe Kazan). They click immediately;
unfortunately, she's already living with her
boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall). Bucking the
odds, Wallace and Chantry become best
friends — but with the chemistry between
them, can that last?
You might be surprised that the director
responsible for the bone-crunching hockey
comedy Goon and the twin paeans to hoserdom,
Fubar and Fubar II, has now delivered
one of the year's freshest and most winning
comedies. Yet behind all of Michael
Dowse's films lies a genuine tenderness
between the leads.
And that is precisely what distinguishes
The F Word. Dowse and screenwriter Elan
Mastai are patient and sensitive enough to
let Wallace and Chantry stumble towards
acknowledging their connection. A wise
decision, since the film boasts some of the
most memorable and appealing secondary
characters in a romantic comedy since
Cameron Crowe's Say Anything — from
Chantry's sister Dalia (TIFF Rising Star
Megan Park) and her knitting circle of
confidantes, to Wallace's former college
roommate Allan (Adam Driver) and his
partner, Nicole (Mackenzie Davis).
Few romantic comedies feel as contemporary
as Dowse's film. It oozes charm, but
also beautifully charts the complicated
geography of modern relationships, in
which everyone is defined not simply by
their actions but also by their loyalties.
At Allan and Nicole's pop-up wedding,
Wallace praises them for doggedly believing
in the best-case scenario. The F Word is
courageous enough to believe in it as well.
- Michael Dowse
- Michael Dowse was raised in Calgary
and graduated with an M.B.A. from
Yale. His short film 237 (00) was
followed up by his feature debut,
Fubar (02), which he also wrote, edited,
and produced. His directing credits
include It's All Gone Pete Tong (04),
Fubar II (10), Take Me Home Tonight (11),
Goon (11), and The F Word (13).