Ryan Reynolds stars in this magical, rollicking movie that takes the classical question “what if” and makes that the story.
Written, directed, and starring Krasinski, IF primarily centers on a young girl who can see imaginary friends. However, it’s not just hers she has the power to see, it’s every imaginary friend forgotten by their respective humans — the many children they’ve helped. Saddened by being alone and facing the threat of being abandoned forever, the imaginary friends team up with the girl, who may be their only hope for being remembered before time runs out.
Ryan Reynolds plays the Man Upstairs, and Cailey Fleming plays the young girl with the gift of sight.
“I figured I needed to make a movie for my kids. Seeing as though Quiet Place is like PG-40 in our house — they won’t see Quiet Place till they’re 40 — I figured I should make one for them,” he told Entertainment Weekly. He recalls taking the idea to his producing partner, Allyson Seeger, around that time. “I just told her, ‘I have this weird idea that we should do something where imaginary friends are not just adorable creatures. They’re these time capsules for everyone’s hopes, dreams, ambitions, and this place that we can always go back to that we all think that as adults we leave behind, but we didn’t. They’re right there. We just have to turn around and look at them again.'”
The giant purple furball is named “Blue” (the kid who created him was colorblind), and voiced by Krasinski’s costar on The Office, Steve Carell.
The IMDB page specifically does not list them, which means the names themselves may turn out to be spoilers. What we do know is that the film was written and directed by John Krasinski, who is married to Emily Blunt, who also appears as a voiced animated character in the film. Krasinski himself appears in the film, along with a virtual who’s-who of Hollywood. Matt Damon, Vince Vaugh, Awkwafina, Sebastian Maniscalco, Richard Jenkins, Steve Carell and John Stewart all lend their voices to the IF’s (Imaginary Friends). Live action roles are filled by Reynolds, Fiona Shaw, Louis Gosset Jr., Cailey Fleming and more.
Said Krasinski about writing the film, “I remember saying to Emily, when I first started thinking of writing the script for IF, ‘I want this to be Some Good News in movie form,'” he says. “I want people to feel like there’s someone there for them, even on days that they feel like they aren’t going to make it or it’s not a great day. That in any day, whether it’s a good day or a bad day, there’s always someone there for you, and that believing in something bigger and beautiful will get you to the next day.”
This is a lesson he took away from the film as well. Says Krasinski: “I’ve got to say, it sounds insane, but I created the movie as this fun thing for everybody to go through and make people think again about what it was like being a kid, and realize that it didn’t go anywhere. You just changed, and you feel like you’ve got to do all these spreadsheets and work all these long hours, but the truth is, any time you want to go back, you can. And in making that movie, I think I believe it more and more every single day. I genuinely am looking for my imaginary friend more often than I thought I would.”
The trailer doesn’t offer us much in terms of how all this kicks off. It’s a beautiful example of the trailer editor’s art, giving us tantalizing details while hiding almost all the plot and storyline, and even the character’s names. If the film turns out to be the same caliber as Free Guy, it will be the film to watch for for the spring of 2024. From Paramount Pictures, If is scheduled for release on May 17, 2024.
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