IF (2024)

Movie Info

Movie Info

John Krasinski’
Run Time
1 hour and 44 minutes

VP Content Ratings

Sex & Nudity
Star Rating
★★★★4 out of 5

Relevant Quotes

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3
Cal & Bea with three Imaginary Friends. (c) Paramount Pictures

Writer/director John Krasinski’s fantasy offers a great opportunity for a family with children to enjoy an outing at the local theater. A tale of recapturing one’s childhood imagination as we grow up,  it is a delightful blend of live actors and animated characters that in one way might remind you of Toy Story.

Twelve-year-old Bea (Cailey Fleming) is faced with problems no child should have to be—her mother has died, and her father (Krasinski) is in New York hospital in need of heart surgery. She moves in with her grandmother Margaret (Fiona Shaw).Little wonder that she no longer regards herself as a kid. One night she goes out to buy a charger for her mother’s old camcorder and spots a strange creature following her. The next day she sees the creature again, this time in the company of a man named Cal (Ryan Reynolds ) who has a very big furry purple creature called Blue (Steve Carrell). She finds herself on a mission that will change her life and those of many others in unexpected ways.

Without going into plot details, I will say that IF stands for Imaginary Friends that have been forgotten by their child when the latter grows up. These are voiced by a star-studded voice cast that includes Emily Blunt, Sam Rockwell, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Amy Schumer, Bradley Cooper,  Louis Gossett Jr (in one of his last roles). They currently reside at  Memory Lane Retirement Home, which is delightfully located at Coney Island beneath a carousel. Lots of funny occurrences as Bea works with Cal and the Ifs in matching up an IF with a child. I think you will love the ending when Bea recognizes who Cal is—and also her beloved Grandmother, father and other children regain something of their childhood imagination.

The film reminded me of my favorite Joni Mitchell song “Clouds/Both Sides Now” which describes the loss of childhood wonder and imagination that growing up in our deadening culture too often entails. And the song in turn reminds me of Jesus words to his disciples, reminding them that the kingdom of heaven is for those with the fresh imagination and wonder of children.

IF is delightful just as an amusing and insightful story for families to enjoy. But for believers it can move beyond entertainment as a parable of the importance of imagination, even leading us to reflect upon what has been called “prophetic imagination.” Thus adults can, after exploring the film with children, can go off on their own.

This review will be in the June issue of VP along with a set of questions for reflection and/or discussion. If you have found reviews on this site helpful, please consider purchasing a subscription or individual issue in The Store.


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