As a kid, nothing fueled my imagination quite like a captivating movie—especially when I got to see it on the big screen. I remember the excitement of walking into the theatre, the anticipation as the lights dimmed, and the magic of that enormous screen transporting me to worlds beyond my wildest dreams. Now, as an adult eagerly awaiting the release of “IF”, the latest cinematic masterpiece from writer and director John Krasinski, I can’t help but feel a twinge of nostalgia for those magical movie moments of my youth. And let me tell you, “IF” is the movie I wish I had growing up.

“IF” (which stands for Imaginary Friends) is more than just a film—it’s a journey into the boundless realm of imagination, a reminder of the sheer joy of being a kid, and a discovery of the magic that lives within us all. With its relatable storyline, blend of live-action and animated characters, and guaranteed laughs from a star-studded cast including Ryan Reynolds, Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Bradley Cooper, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Maya Rudolph, “IF” has all the ingredients needed to spark wonder and ignite the imaginations of children everywhere this summer.

IF promotional movie poster from Paramount - IF movie

It’s a celebration of the power of imagination

At the heart of “IF” lies a powerful message about the importance of imagination and the boundless possibilities it holds. Through the eyes of young protagonist Bea, played by Cailey Fleming, “IF” encourages children to think creatively, dream big and believe in the extraordinary. After Bea discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends, she sets out on a journey to reunite lost IFs with their kids. Along the way, kids will be inspired to explore their own imagination, see the world with fresh eyes and discover the magic that lies within. As a child who loved all things fantasy—from crafting fairy houses in my mom’s garden to concocting magical potions in our sandbox—if I had been able to watch “IF” as a kid, I would have felt even more empowered to embrace my creativity, and felt truly seen and understood in a world where my fantastical dreams weren’t just dismissed as child’s play, but fully celebrated and encouraged. 

It’s a treasure trove of meaningful moments

“IF” isn’t just about inspiring imagination—it’s also about the touching bonds of friendship and family. Between the hilarious antics of the animated IFs and the whimsical adventures of Bea and her new friend Cal, played by Ryan Reynolds, you (and your kids) will be getting misty-eyed over life lessons learned in between giggles and belly laughs (especially thanks to one fully invisible prankster IF called Keith). “IF” is fully packed with moments that will leave children wide-eyed with wonder and adults reminiscing about the joys of childhood, creating a cinematic experience that will stay with you and your kids long after the credits roll.

It boasts a seriously awe-inspiring cast

One of the true delights of “IF” is its star-studded cast, who breathe life into the colorful characters that inhabit its world. Alongside Fleming and Reynolds, the live-action cast includes none other than Krasinski himself, in addition to the talented Fiona Shaw and Alan Kim. But that’s just the beginning; the fantastical world of IFs is filled with hilariously depicted figments of imagination voiced by some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Steve Carrell, George Clooney, Blake Lively, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Louis Gossett Jr., Emily Blunt, Awkwafina, and more. Any film that can assemble such an extensive A-list cast is bound to spark joy in viewers at any age!

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

It opens a world of possibilities

Perhaps the most magical aspect of “IF” is its ability to transport viewers to a world where anything is possible; where imagination and wonder reign supreme. I hope that when my own kids watch the film, they’ll understand that there are no limits to the stories and characters their minds can come up with, and that they’ll recognize the magic of the world around them—both in real life and inside their heads. Don’t be surprised when you catch your kiddo daydreaming long after you’ve left the theatre. After all, “IF” isn’t just a movie—it’s an experience that lingers, inspiring young minds to dream big and believe in the impossible.

As summer approaches and you’re searching for the perfect family movie, look no further than “IF”. With its enchanting story, loveable characters and universal message of hope and creativity, “IF” is the cinematic adventure you and your child have been waiting for. So grab your popcorn, settle in and get ready to be whisked away on the journey of a lifetime—because with “IF”, the wonder of childhood is just a movie ticket away.