KSL Movie Show review: ‘IF’ has a solid message and a sense of melancholy

May 17, 2024, 12:00 PM

ksl movie show host steve salles next to IF movie poster...

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Yes, it’s adorable and enchanting most of the time, but also a bit awkward.

At one point, I thought, that if they darkened the music and tone a bit, this could have been a decent horror movie. But as is, John Krasinski has poured his heart and soul into a fantasy film that he hopes his daughters and the rest of us will enjoy.

Only, it begins with a montage of the passing of a tween’s mother. Think “Up”.

Bea (Cailey Fleming) is still reeling from that loss but now faces the upcoming heart surgery for her dad (John Krasinski) who appears to be as happy-go-lucky as any hospital patient I’ve ever seen.

It begs the question, why is he there so many days before his mystery operation?

Related: KSL Movie Show review: ‘Nowhere Special’ is amazingly inspirational

So Bea is staying with her grandmother (Fiona Shaw) but she’s free to roam about New York City — and let me remind you, she’s just a kid! That felt irresponsible.

Even stranger is when she meets Cal (Ryan Reynolds), a crazy guy who lives in an attic space in grandma’s apartment building.

Oh, and he can see everyone’s “imaginary friends.” What?? Nothing to worry about here.

Bea soon discovers that Cal is trying to find new children for these IFs, as they call them, or reconnect the IFs with their former kids, now grown up and hopeless.

More from the KSL Movie Show: KSL Movie Show review: ‘Nowhere Special’ is amazingly inspirational

There is a sense of melancholy that permeates this film, despite how upbeat it tries to be. I’m not sure kids are going to respond to this as well as their parents might, but we’ll soon see.

The one thing that is impressive is the number of A-list actors that lent their voices to the nearly two dozen imaginary friend characters — from Steve Carell as Blue to Brad Pitt as Keith, the annoyingly invisible IF.

Honestly, no one was rooting more for this movie than I was. “IF” features a ton of people I love and respect. It has a solid message about rediscovering your innocent, inner child. It hits on loyalty, family, and caring for others.

All great stuff, but it’s those odd moments betwixt the joy and fantasy that brought it back down Earth.

Still, there is enough here to recommend, just lower your expectations a bit and you’ll be just fine.

“IF” (B) Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language. Starring Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Fiona Shaw and the voices of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Steve Carell, Louis Gossett Jr. and many others. Written and directed by John Krasinski (“A Quiet Place Part II” and “A Quiet Place” – filmed in Brooklyn Heights. Running time: 104 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘IF’ has a solid message and a sense of melancholy