Verdict: IF is a sweet and wholesome family film that proves John Krasinski is a unique and versatile storyteller.

  • Ryan Reynolds, Steve Carrell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge
  • May 11th 2024
  • John Krasinski

Cailey Fleming and Ryan Reynolds try to partner retired imaginary friends with new kids in John Krasinski’s new family comedy.

After directing the horror sensation A Quiet Place and its sequel, John Krasinski is proving his versatility by making the family comedy IF.

His film tells the story of 12-year-old girl Bea (Cailey Fleming), who is temporarily living with her grandmother (Fiona Shaw) while her father (Krasinski) undergoes surgery.

During her time in the New York apartment, Bea discovers the presence of IFs, or imaginary friends. Calvin (Ryan Reynolds), who lives on the floor above her grandmother, is trying to help the retired IFs find new children and Bea decides to help him out.

IF is adorable, wholesome and full of heart. Kransinki’s sense of imagination is a delight to behold, from the creative sequence at an IF retirement community to the wide array of IFs, which range from the obvious (a cuddly bear) to the random (a glass of ice water).

The IFs are voiced by a star-studded line-up of Krasinski’s celebrity pals plus his wife Emily Blunt. His former co-star on The Office, Steve Carell, has the biggest part as a purple furry creature named Blue, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge voices a butterfly named Blossom.

The majority of the ensemble have a handful of lines each so you might miss the likes of Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon and Sam Rockwell.

While you cannot fault Krasinski’s vision, unfortunately, the film takes a while to get going and the pacing is too slow in the first half so children might feel bored. However, it makes up for this in the second half, which is fun, entertaining and surprisingly poignant. Be warned: You might need tissues!

Reynolds plays the same Deadpool-esque character in most films, but he tones down his usual acting style here to let Fleming shine. The 17-year-old, best known for playing Judith Grimes in The Walking Dead, is terrific in the lead role, giving a subtle, sweet and emotional performance and convincingly interacting with CGI creatures.

IF is a wonderful family film that proves Krasinski is a unique and versatile storyteller.

In cinemas from Friday 17th May.

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