At the end of The F Word, Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan) get married. This isn’t surprising, but it is, for me, disappointing. What’s to be most valued in this film, written by Elan Mastai based on the play Cigars and Toothpaste by TJ Dawe and Michael Rinaldi and directed by Michael Dowse, is its brutal honesty about the complicated dynamics of two friends who may or may not be attracted to one another and the concessions they have to make in order to not upset that dynamic. It essentially plays out like When Harry Met Sally…, but less inclined to make one person a victim or a pathetic figure. It lays out its options openly and realistically, acknowledging that people sometimes have to do painful things in order to maintain a kind of balance.
Whether or not I was always such an acerbic, sardonic little twerp is up to my friends to determine, but I know that I discovered the work of David Sedaris the year before I entered high school. It was kind of timely, in a way, as it would certainly inform my worldview during high school. iTunes was having an audiobook sale and his collection of essays Me Talk Pretty One Day caught my eye, so I bought it and never looked back. For a while, I wrote my own essays, shamelessly aping his style of humor, but like many imitators of Sedaris, they usually lacked the grasp on humanity he inexplicably had. Some call it smarm, but I think it’s merely fascinating introspection. I think it would be slightly disingenuous to call Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s adaptation of Sedaris’s short story C.O.G. (collected in Naked) “hackneyed”, but, as I mentioned before, the critical thing it lacks is that humanity.