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  • Writer's pictureSteve

IF (2024)

Well, this really tastes like undiluted Hollywood. It's practically glowing with heavyweight influence. Written and Directed by Mr Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, one of only a few people to make millions in Hollywood during COVID by selling out a hugely successful and sentimental podcast in a slick business move that came across as highly distasteful to most of its viewers.

Can't beat vicious profiteering if it makes you cry or makes you laugh, right?

Still, you need money to make money. Well, at least the amounts of money that gets Krasinski up out of bed in the morning. And having the likes of Ryan Reynolds in your movie is going to do it no harm whatsoever. Add posh de rigeur Brit, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Steve Carrell and it's practically falling over itself to look pretty and more than a little twee. Granted, it is not what you'd call imaginative casting, but Krasinski is not mad keen on risking anything if he doesn't need to. And frankly, he doesn't need to.

So, all told, what we have is a project that is accutely aware of its own perceived moral highground as well as its realistically demanding commercial requirements. If not for the writer, director and stars, you could easily forgive this for coming off 'all Hallmark'. You know, a little too cheesy for its own good but at its core, it sends a message of admirable moral fibre and fortitude.

Reynolds produces a performance that will have you thinking he's actually reading the script at the time rather than having actually learnt it. You can almost hear the inside of his own head double-taking the moment in his office when he agreed to do it, but also agreed not to have any input in the writing credits.

Really, this lacks imagination, IF is almost a live version of Monsters Inc, but without the wit, charm and delivery of Pixar's writers and casting. There is a distinct lack of soul, driving a movie that purports to be riddled with it, making it feel like something of a charlatan. If a movie was ever made by someone who got the entirely wrong end of the stick regarding his own press and public persona, then this is it. Proof positive that you can't get away with anything, just because of who you are.

NB - If you are, in fact, never truly alone, then I have a long list of apologies I need to make.


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