Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) is a loner who dropped out of medical school and works at a boring job. He is still wincing from the end of an intimate relationship with a woman he loved and then lost. At a party, this shy and soft-spoken young man meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) and they seem to hit it off. When she gives him her number and says she would love to hang out with him, Wallace is very happy. But then Chantry reveals that she has a boyfriend she lives with.
After both having some doubts, these two decide to become friends and skip the sex and all the other tangles that go with it. Eventually, Wallace meets Ben (Rafe Spall), who has been with Chantry for five years. When his job working for the United Nations requires him to go on assignment to Dublin for six months, the two friends spend more time together.
Wallace shares his mixed feelings about his relationship with Chantry with Alan (Adam Driver), his best friend, who is in the midst of a messy but passionate relationship with Nicole (Mackenzie Davis) but receives little in response. In fact, a prank forcing Wallace and Chantry to spend a night together nude in a sleeping bag on the beach angers both of them. Further complications involve Chantry's sexy sister Dalia (Megan Park) who is looking for something from Wallace that he cannot provide.
Michael Dowse directs this spunky romantic comedy which explores some of the same themes that When Harry Met Sally did 25 years ago: we take a journey with two quirky characters who decide to be friends and not lovers. It is not an easy thing to do given the dynamics of the culture and the erotic yearning of modern day men and women. Years ago Merle Shain observed: "Friendship offers things that love affairs and marriage don't provide, like honesty and fewer demands, and time off from the fray."
What If works thanks to the laid-back and appealing performances of Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe. They are very good at showing what happens when two people try to make sense of their feelings and choices in a world where everyone else is on a different path.