The F Word

“Genre conventions can be really excellent tools because a big part of the power you have over your audience is playing with their expectations—what they think is going to happen versus what is actually going to happen,” says Elan Mastai, writer of the new romantic comedy The F Word. “Sometimes you embrace a convention but you elevate it by making it more heartfelt or funnier or more genuine. Other times you tease a convention and then you tweak it. Both are interesting ways to surprise the audience.” In The F Word, Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) and falls immediately, but she’s already got a boyfriend, and he’s a good guy. Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis are along for respective sidekick relief, but this is a young-love story at its heart and a big step out for director Michael Dowse, helmer of Goon and FUBAR. “It was about trying to do something totally different from Goon, something that was a little more grown-up, a little more mature,” says Dowse over beer at The Arms. “For me I was interested in letting the actors act and not build the moment through editing or anything like that, make a film that breathes a little bit more in terms of how it’s shot, give the audience a more participatory viewpoint on what’s happening.” A contemporary Canadian romantic comedy is a rare thing; rarer still that it’s actually good. “Your experience with so many of these movies is based on the time you watch them, how they’re reflected back on what you’re going through,” says Mastai. “Obviously When Harry Met Sally is a huge touchstone for this movie, but that was 25 years ago. For a young audience, this would be their first romantic comedy. And that’s very interesting to think about, how it changes their lens.” —Tara Thorne

Credits

Director:

  • Michael Dowse

Cast:

  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Zoe Kazan
  • Adam Driver
  • Rafe Spall
  • Megan Park
  • Mackenzie Davis
  • Oona Chaplin

Writer:

  • Elan Mastai

Producers:

  • David Gross
  • Jesse Shapira
  • Jeff Arkuss
  • Macdara Kelleher & Andre Rouleau

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