• Audience and critic scores for John Krasinski’s
    on Rotten Tomatoes have a 38% difference.
  • Critics find
    confusing with a lack of tonal balance, while audiences praise its enchanting and emotional elements.
  • The division in reception for
    may stem from different expectations regarding its sophistication and quality as a family-friendly film.

John Krasinski’s IF is dividing audiences and critics on Rotten Tomatoes. While Krasinski has directed comedies like The Hollars and the horror film series A Quiet Place, this marked his first foray into family-friendly entertainment. The movie follows a young girl named Bea (Cailey Fleming), who realizes she has the ability to see everyone’s imaginary friends (IFs). Her neighbor Cal (Ryan Reynolds) boasts the same ability, and the pair soon team up to find new homes for all the IFs whose children have outgrown them. Surprisingly, the imaginative film has caused division among critics and audiences.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the critic and audience scores for IF boast quite the difference. While these scores, on average, tend to differ by little more than 5%, IF‘s audience and critic scores currently have a difference of 38%. The critics’ score stands at a mixed 49% based on 137 reviews, while the audience score stands at a positive 87% based on over 250 reviews. Given how recently the movie premiered, these scores may change, but for now, they demonstrate that audiences and critics are receiving the film quite differently.

Why Are Audiences & Critics So Divided Over A Children’s Movie?

IF Film Ryan Reynolds 3

While one may be wondering what there is to disagree about IF, a movie largely directed at children, it’s not unheard of for family-friendly films to receive polarizing responses from critics and audiences. For example, Mark Wahlberg’s family-friendly Arthur the King boasted an audience and critic score difference of 28%. Meanwhile, Space Jam: A New Legacy boasted a drastic difference of 54%. It seems audiences often find enjoyment in light, family-friendly films that aim to entertain, while some critics still expect a bit more from these films, even if they’re directed at younger audiences.

In the case of IF, critics have acknowledged the imaginative and adorable premise. However, some of the biggest complaints they have voiced are that the plot is unnecessarily confusing and may even have some holes in it, as well as that the movie lacks tonal balance, often switching drastically between comedy and highly emotional moments. Some critics point out that the poor script and lack of adequate world-building mean there’s really not much beneath the imaginative characters, charm, and vibrant CGI. Audiences, though, have hailed it as a wonderful children’s movie that even made some of them cry.

Audiences described IF as “enchanting,”“adorable,” and “a great feel good movie.” It seems some audiences went in expecting a children’s film and were surprised by the maturity and emotion behind some plot points. Hence, the division may be more of an issue of perception. Those expecting a generic children’s movie were pleasantly surprised by its quality. However, those expecting IF‘s plot and world to boast more sophistication were disappointed because, while the film appears to be a step above the typical kids film, it still struggles to stand as something more than a feel-good movie.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

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