When you hear the premise of What If, the story arc should become pretty clear. In the romantic comedy, med-school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and animator Chantry (Zoe Kazan) meet at a party and instantly connect while making refrigerator magnet poems. After walking home together, Chantry tells Wallace she has a boyfriend, but the two resolve to become friends anyway.

Obviously, Wallace develops romantic feelings for Chantry. Obviously, he hides his romantic feelings from Chantry. And, obviously, they become incredibly close friends, which obviously leads to a big ol’ mess when he reveals his feelings. And as you might guess, a colorful cast of supporting characters, including Wallace’s roommate Allan (Girls’ Adam Driver) and Chantry’s sister Dalia (Megan Park) provide entertaining foils. But within its structure, What If does quite a bit that is pleasantly surprising.

Screenwriter Elan Masta doesn’t settle for stock characters, giving Kazan and Radcliffe full and intelligent people to play and tough decisions to make. But the lynchpin that holds the movie’s believability together is Chantry’s long-term boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall). With the audience rooting for Chantry and Wallace, it would be easy to install a stereotypical douchebag as the antagonist. Instead, Ben is genuine, if a little boring (except when he falls out a window in one of the film’s strongest comedic set pieces). His earnestness indirectly gives Kazan’s character greater depth. And when he gets transferred to Dublin for work, the couple’s goodbye is genuinely moving; they love each other, even if the distance will slowly pull them apart.

What If knows exactly what it wants to be, and that’s a very good romantic comedy that presents a more organic view of how love forms. It’s fresh, real and entertaining, even when you see what’s coming.

In his first major non-Harry Potter role, Radcliffe’s Wallace is dubious about love after experiencing heartbreak, without being overly mopey or sentimental. His and Kazan’s chemistry is excellent, with both shining during their playful exchanges over the mythic fools gold sandwich and the proper use of the word “forte.” That said, they are a bit clunky during their two major clashes.

Coming off a string of solid performances (Ruby Sparks, The Pretty One, In Your Eyes), Kazan subtly develops Chantry with slightly less screen time, and without a foil as strong as Allan. Kazan’s energy naturally percolates through the character, keeping her engaging and lively while also fully grounded. Meanwhile, director Michael Dowse (Goon) provides an inner narrative through her animated drawings, but the tactic is employed a little too sporadically to fully satisfy.

Retaining a classic rom-com visual style, Dowse is still able to incorporate fresh images and sequences, the strongest of which is an encounter between Wallace and Chantry in a changing room, when she becomes stuck pulling a dress over her head. The tight camera work captures the comedy of the moment while also subtly highlighting Wallace’s tenderness and desire.

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Major action sequence.

As a Canadian production, New Pornographers leader, and general badass, A.C. Newman seemed a perfect choice to provide the score. His music doesn’t really have much of a role, his music doesn’t take anything away either.

The film’s ending, though ideologically refreshing, is a bit too quick and clean. Thankfully, the pervading romantic comedy trope that a woman needs to choose between her demanding career and love doesn’t hold up here. While still torn between Ben and Wallace, Chantry is offered a promotion that will require her to move to Asia. SPOILER ALERT: If I’m going to give a spoiler it’s that she takes the damn promotion and that’s good to see. Otherwise, the conclusion comes together too quickly and with a bit too much coincidence—namely, a sandwich-based marketing ploy that isn’t really helping the story.

 What If knows exactly what it wants to be, and that’s a very good romantic comedy that presents a more organic view of how love forms. It’s fresh, real and entertaining, even when you see what’s coming.