FUBAR and Goon director Michael Dowse makes a surprising swerve into sweetness with this winning romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.

Special Presentations

The F Word

Michael Dowse

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.

STEVE GRAVESTOCK

Screenings

Sat Sep 07

Ryerson Theatre

Premium
9:00pm
Sun Sep 08

Scotiabank 2

Industry
8:45am
Sun Sep 08

The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Regular
11:30am
Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 13

Industry
1:00pm