IF review

Image Source: IMDb.com

Movie: IF

Production Company: Paramount Pictures

Director: John Krasinski

Producers: George Dewey, Andrew Form, Alexa Zinz Ginsburg

Scriptwriters: John Krasinski

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett JR, Steve Carrell

Release Date: 17th May 2024

Running Time: 104 minutes

Certificate: U

Introduction: John Krasinski’s latest directorial feature is an innocent and enchanting tearjerker.

Synopsis: A young girl who is experiencing a troubling time in her life starts to see everyone else’s imaginary friends who have since been forgotten about.

Analysis: In a bizarre sense, I saw this as a strange companion piece to Krasinski’s extraordinary directorial debut ‘A Quiet Place’ in that both very much act as a love letter to his very own children. I got the sense that this is another very personal project, and when you see it, there can be no other answer. This would make sense as he has said in interviews that he wanted to make a film his kids could watch instead of ‘A Quiet Place’ which would (ironically) not be appropriate for them. I had a good time with ‘IF’, a wonderfully warm hug of a film that is a treat for the whole family. After being skeptically unsure about the trailers, I am so happy to be have been proven wrong. At it’s strongest, its goofy, lighthearted and very creative fun about the fear of growing up which really does tug at the heartstrings and is successful in doing so.

One specific interaction between the young girl and her father at the end is just so lovely. The young girl in question is relative newcomer Cailey Fleming who plays ‘Bea’ and is fantastic in this, she bounces off Ryan Reynolds in joyous fashion and has a certainly has a bright future ahead of her, they both had good chemistry. Reynolds is and always has been one of the most enjoyable and entertaining performers in Hollywood and is clearly having a lot of fun here; I suspect he signed on for this for the same reasons Krasinski did. Steve Carrell, one of the many, many stellar voices (George Clooney, Matt Damon, Phoebe Waller-Bridge etc) in the film is funny too.

However limited his screen time is, John Krasinski is really good fun to watch, he has great comedic chops (as he’s proved in ‘The Office’ and with his personality in general) and is equally just as good in serious scenes should the necessity arise. By this point, he has certainly proved his worth as a filmmaker and I can’t wait to see what else he does. I did not buy into some of it as much as the film wanted me to however. Without wishing to give too much away, some contextual detailing regarding ‘Bea’s upbringing and early life needed to be fleshed out slightly more and it just seemed a little too ambivalent for me; especially since something very important happens. I was hoping a little more would be explained and explored but it never was.

As the film progressed towards its climax, certain choices are also made in the story that I tried to get on board with but just could not. I completely understood what it was doing and why, but I think it was just too big of an ask for me. Going in with a sense of trepidation, ‘IF’ managed to brilliantly balance the seriousness with the silly. It didn’t all work, but it’s heart was very much in the right place.

In cinemas Friday.

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good

Target Audience: U

Content Warning: very mild bad language, scary scenes, bereavement theme, rude humour

Recommendation: Yes