Imagine That

Posted by


Leigh DeVore


Starring Eddie Murphy, Yara Shahidi, Thomas Haden Church, Martin Sheen | Rated PG

Sometimes a little make-believe helps us see what really matters in life.

Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is a financial executive who has thrown himself into his career. He wants to be successful, but he also uses work as an escape from the uncomfortable relationship he has with his 7-year-old daughter. He just can’t seem to connect with Olivia (Yara Shahidi). But that soon changes when he discovers the answers he needs for work can be found in his daughter’s imaginary world.

Evan enters Olivia’s fantasy world—which only she can “see”—through the power of her security blanket. They traipse through the burnt forest, scrunch through a cave and sing for a dragon so he can talk to the invisible princesses and queen who know secrets to the financial market. Evan continually performs the funny antics required to consult with his daughter’s friends, yet becomes so obsessed with their expertise and the success their information can bring him that he forgets about what Olivia really needs: her dad. Eventually Evan has to make a choice between work and Olivia.

This film is charming. Murphy is hilarious. Shahidi is adorable. What more could we ask for?

Murphy has always been funny onscreen, but at times during his career he has fallen into the vulgar pit. Here he is at his best in a role similar to the one he played in Daddy Day Care. Without resorting to crudeness and vulgarity, his talent shines through with simple, fun, clean comedy. Mr. Murphy: Please continue to choose these family-friendly roles. You rock!

Shahidi, on the other hand, has only been in commercials and print ads, but she makes a clear statement in her movie debut that she’s here to stay. Imagine That is only the beginning of what is sure to be a long list of film credits for Shahidi. She is quite the talent in her own right, and she and Murphy make a great duo onscreen.

This film is rated PG for some mild language and some questionable behavior. But no question about it, this is an enjoyable film and one many in the family will enjoy.

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