5 reasons why ‘IF’ is the perfect family movie

Back in the day, my sister and I would practically jump for joy when our parents announced a trip to the movies. We’d grab the morning newspaper, flip straight to the Entertainment section, and scour the movie listings to see what was playing, where, and what time. (If you can relate to this, I’m sorry for making you feel old.) But back to those core memories—I can’t help but look back fondly on our family movie day traditions, even if finding a flick that appealed to everyone (dad included) wasn’t always easy. That’s why I’m super excited about “IF”, coming to theaters May 17!

Written and directed by the one and only John Krasinski, “IF” (short for Imaginary Friends) promises to be the ultimate family movie experience. Trust me: this is a story you have to see to believe. Here are 5 reasons why you should be penciling in that family movie day ASAP.

Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming star in Paramount Pictures' "IF."
Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming star in Paramount Pictures’ “IF.”

1. It features a star-studded cast

When you’ve got a line-up as star-studded as “IF”, you know it’s going to be the ultimate summer blockbuster for the whole family. With John Krasinski playing dad to Cailey Fleming’s Bea, Ryan Reynolds in the role of Cal who lives upstairs and forms an unlikely friendship with Bea, and Alan Kim portraying Bea’s friend Benjamin, there’s an undeniable kinship that lights up the screen. And let’s not forget Fiona Shaw, who absolutely nails it as the most iconic and loveable grandmother.

On top of that, a slew of A-listers make appearances voicing the animated IFs—including 

Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Awkwafina, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Blake Lively, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, and more! We can only imagine the belly laughs to be had as these superstars transform into the visual embodiment of your childhood’s wildest imagination.

2. It’s made by a visionary filmmaker

Ryan Reynolds and director John Krasinski on the set of Paramount Pictures' "IF."
Ryan Reynolds and Director John Krasinski on the set of Paramount Pictures’ “IF.”

When exceptional visionaries bring their ideas to life, incredible films are born. And when a supremely talented actor and filmmaker pours their heart into a project, you can truly feel its power. Case in point: “IF”, written, directed and produced by John Krasinski.

During the pandemic, he noticed his kids’ spirits dimming, so he did what any parent would do—wrote a movie to remind them that there’s always hope and someone to lean on, featuring a bunch of Hollywood stars. Not only did Krasinski wear multiple hats as the brain behind “IF”—conceptualizing, writing, directing and acting in the film—but he wrote it especially with his kids in mind (hats off to Super Dad!). We all know that when our kids are our “why,” we create our best work.

3. It’s a movie experience best shared

When it comes to movie trailers, I’m typically a tough sell, but the sneak peek of “IF” had me hooked from the get-go. And if a brief glimpse on a modest phone screen can resonate so deeply, imagine the full impact of experiencing this film in a theater, surrounded by the collective anticipation and emotion of an audience. I can only imagine the feels I’ll be catching when I take my family to see the full-length feature on the silver screen.

As the lights dim, it’s an invitation to rekindle the joy of collective viewing. Being inside the theater is a reminder of how stories can bring us together, creating moments of connection around what’s sure to be the must-see family movie this summer.

4. It’s hilarious and heartfelt at the same time

Cailey Fleming as Bea and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Blossom in a scene from Paramount Pictures' "IF."
Cailey Fleming as Bea and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Blossom in a scene from Paramount Pictures’ “IF.”

There’s nothing better than going to the movies with your family and hearing your little ones giggle between handfuls of popcorn, but when you hear your husband laugh out loud to the point that he almost spits out his drink? Memories are being made, folks! 

And that is the type of comedic genius that’s built into “IF”. With hilarious performances by our favorite funnymen, like Steve Carell and Ryan Reynolds, the film’s adult humor is just slick enough to sail right over your little ones’ heads. Plus, there’s plenty of slapstick fun for the kids to enjoy.

But, that’s not all. “IF” also promises to have at least one moment that will have you reaching for that last Junior Mint with misty eyes. From relatable stories to a touch of nostalgia and some seriously meaningful relationships, this movie is one that will have you feeling a full range of emotions, as all the best movies do.

5. It carries a message that will resonate with the entire fam

When it comes to tapping into the magic of imagination, age is just a number. Whether you’re a kid or a grownup, that spark lives inside us all, waiting to be discovered (or rediscovered). Think back to your own childhood: From tea parties with stuffed animals to fantastical pretend play, or even inviting your own IF to dinner—it was all about unleashing that creative power.

But as we get older, imagination becomes harder to access. While it’s easy for little kids, grownups, on the other hand, sometimes need a gentle reminder to tap into that superpower once again. And that’s why “IF” is such a gem—it’s a movie that speaks to the entire family, reminding us all of the magic that lives within our imagination.

With an all-star cast, stunning cinematography, just the right mix of heart and humor, filmmaker John Krasinski has cracked the code for the ultimate family movie of the summer. Mark your calendars for May 17, get your tickets, and get ready for an adventure that’s even better than you can imagine!

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