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Times of India
The film tackles the age-old question of whether friends can become lovers. And by extension, what happens if your best pal also turns out to be the one you secretly desire. Wallace (Radcliffe) and Chantry (Kazan) portray this scenario.
At the heart of this film is the aforementioned question of balance regarding friendship and romance between Wallace and Chantry. Their universes collide during a house party, over a seemingly mundane conversation in a kitchen. A spark is ignited and there appears to be instant, though cautious, mutual attraction.
Wallace didn't find studying medicine to be what the doctor ordered and Chantry (Kazan) works as an illustrator. Wallace is charmed by her quick wit and she is attracted by his intelligence. Later in the night, Chantry lets on that she has a boyfriend (Spall) who would be wondering where she is, before dropping the "Why can't we be friends?" line.
Wallace agrees because although he would rather not be 'friend-zoned', he's too hooked to simply forget about this charming young lady who makes him feel more alive than ever before. But it is when they bump into each other again and later have dinner that their friendship truly begins to coalesce.
Wallace is perhaps a bit too shy and bumbling (picture a much younger version of Hugh Grant doing his stammering lover-boy roles) to be too direct. Wallace's friend, the more experienced Allan (Driver), who also met a girl (Davis) at the same party, advises Wallace in matters of the heart.
Radcliffe plays the sensitive, semi-nerd role so well that during some tender scenes, you will actually empathise with this underdog and want him to have his 'happily ever after' ending. Kazan's Chantry, who is torn between her successful boyfriend and Wallace, depicts this dichotomy without melodrama.
Delightful but somewhat un-memorable, the energy of the film lies in the push-pull conflict between the two protagonists handled deftly by Radcliffe and Kazan - the whole question of love that cannot be...and hoping against all odds that it can.
The movie was premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and won rave reviews there.
Casey Affleck was originally asked to play the lead. However, he was later rewplaced by Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.