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"IMAGINE THAT"
(2009) (Eddie Murphy, Yara Shahidi) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Heavy Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A financial manager tries to take advantage of the fact that his young daughter's imaginary friends are accurate prognosticators of pending corporate decisions and financials dealings.
PLOT:
Evan Danielson (EDDIE MURPHY) is a financial manager whose life revolves around his work. Accordingly, that's resulted in him being separated from his wife, Trish (NICOLE ARI PARKER), and not much of a father to their young daughter, Olivia (YARA SHAHIDI). That tension has seemingly led to her creation of some imaginary friends that are channeled through her "goo-gaa" blanket from which she is inseparable. Evan wants to wean her of that, but has little time, a point not lost on his friend and former NFL player, John Strother (DeRAY DAVIS) who encourages him to get in touch with his inner-self.

Yet, it's even worse now that Evan is trying to hold off his upstart coworker, Johnny Whitefeather (THOMAS HADEN CHURCH), from stealing the limelight and impressing their boss, Tom Stevens (RONNY COX), and all of their wealthy clients. And with Tom planning on selling his company to legendary investor Dante D'Enzo (MARTIN SHEEN), Evan and Johnny will be competing to take over his spot.

Things come to a head when Johnny moves up the start time of Evan's meeting, and the latter discovers that Olivia - channeling her imaginary friends -- has drawn all over his important papers. Loosing his control after everyone is swayed by Johnny's shaman type presentation, Evan rashly presents Olivia's information, fully expecting to be fired over his outburst.

But when her drawings turn out to have correctly predicted corporate doings and business investments, Evan realizes he might be on to something. Using Olivia to "meet" her imaginary friends (that he can't see or hear), he hopes to get more such business prognostications and use them to his benefit. As he becomes more successful doing that, however, he runs the risk of further alienating both Olivia and her mom.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since it features a kid in a major role and Eddie Murphy goofing around, it might be enticing to some, as well as those who are fans of anyone else in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some mild language and brief questionable behavior.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • EDDIE MURPHY plays a financial manager so obsessed with his work that it's led to the failure of his marriage to Trish and has left him being a poor dad to Olivia. Yet, when her imaginary friends prove to be expert business prognosticators, he develops a sudden newfound interest in her, and specifically using her to get more such tips and insight. While doing so draws him closer to her, he's also still using her for just his benefit, until he finally sees the light. He also behaves in all sorts of goofy ways while trying to interact with those never seen nor heard imaginary friends.
  • YARA SHAHIDI plays his young daughter who enjoys him spending more time with her, especially in play, and particularly after being disappointed in him before that. She occasionally experiences the same after his new involvement.
  • THOMAS HADEN CHURCH plays Evan's highly competitive coworker who plays up his fractional Native American heritage in his various ploys and presentations in trying to prove he's better than Evan and more suited for taking over their boss' position.
  • NICOLE ARI PARKER plays Evan's separated wife who isn't pleased by the way he puts business ahead of their daughter.
  • RONNY COX plays Evan and Johnny's boss who must choose between them and their highly unorthodox ways of coming up with investment advice for their clients.
  • DeRAY DAVIS plays Evan's friend, a former NFL player who thinks Evan should address his inner self and spend more time with his family.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. A man is briefly seen shirtless and some cleavage is also present. A bit of physical contact and slapstick style material occurs, and some kids may be enticed to imitate some of the behavior on display, while tense family material is also present.

    There's some crude humor, and bad attitudes are present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of camera movement in the film, including a spin around shot focused on Evan and this point of view spinning around.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Evan pours some milk on Olivia's cereal but the milk is spoiled and lumpy.
  • Tired of Johnny impressing others with his theatrics, Evan loses his composure in a board meeting and uses Olivia's notes from her imaginary friends to throw out what he thinks are just as ludicrous sounding suggestions. That includes a child-like metaphor about one company that's going to have its pants pulled down to reveal "poop" and "nasty, stinky caca" in the underwear. Later, Tom repeats a bit of that.
  • Evan steps in a large pile of animal dung on a ranch. About some advice he just offered, an investor tells Evan that sounds like a load of what he just stepped in.
  • In a montage of Evan's advice (via Olivia through her imaginary friends), we hear child-like metaphors for businesses including wetting the bed and going "wee-wee-wee" all of the way to something.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • It turns out Johnny is only a fraction Native American yet showcases that as his main persona. Accordingly, some may be offended by him getting others to do Indian chanting with him, wearing feathers, or jokingly stating "And how" when lifting up one hand. Later, and after being outed, he uses the term "my red butt."
  • Evan focuses more attention on work than he does his daughter, but that changes when her imaginary friends turn out to be accurate business prognosticators (and he then uses her for access to that information).
  • Seeing that his friend John has allowed Olivia and John's daughter to put makeup on the former football player, Evan jokingly makes the gay-related arm swing and snap of the fingers gesture.
  • Not happy with the attention Johnny is getting, Evan half-jokingly asks an assistant to find out the ramifications of stabbing Johnny.
  • One of Evan's assistants leaves him to go work for Johnny.
  • Johnny gives Red Bull to his young son to get him caffeinated to the point that he might become a business seer like Olivia (during this, the boy repeatedly runs around a large campfire type fire).
  • Evan sneaks into his friend John's house at night to try to retrieve Olivia's magic blanket (thus breaking and entering).
  • In response to his wife not approving of what he's doing, Johnny sarcastically asks her if she thinks her new nose just crawled onto her face.
  • Johnny throws an empty can of Red Bull from his car (littering).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Not looking where he's driving, Evan nearly hits a truck, turns sharp into an alley to miss that, and then swerves through traffic while racing to get to Olivia's school.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Johnny gives a brief graphical view of some business news, including that of an Eastern European country that set off a nuclear blast, and we briefly see an image of a mushroom cloud.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're a complete idiot," "The man whisperer," "It's a horror show," "Ain't nothing but a thing," "That's shadow time," "Nasty, stinky caca," "Total poop," "You must be out of your mind, woman" (said playfully to a girl), "He is a razor cat," "What the hell /is going on/are you doing?" "My brother," "Get this fool," "Sounds like a load of what you just stepped in," "I want my goo-gaa," "Hopped up on Red Bull," "Zip it, "Wrap it up," "You little freak," "Luck is for losers," "Ka-ka-ka," "My red butt," "Don't let it rattle your corn stalk," "Cut the crap" and "Old crook and toad."
  • To play up his Native American persona, Johnny raises his hand and states "And how."
  • Seeing that his friend John has allowed Olivia and John's daughter to put makeup on the former football player, Evan jokingly makes the gay-related arm swing and snap of the fingers gesture.
  • Whenever Evan tries to take away Olivia's blanket, she lets out ear-piercing screams.
  • Some of Evan's exaggerated facial expressions, mannerisms and other behavior (including singing in both high and low voices and dancing around, etc.) might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • Some basketball players have lots of tattoos.
  • Olivia makes pancakes for Evan and then pours ketchup, chocolate sauce, mustard and hot sauce on that. Evan then goes to take a bite, but distracts Olivia so that he can toss what's on his fork back behind him and feign having eaten it.
  • Johnny gives Red Bull to his young son to get him caffeinated to the point that he might become a business seer like Olivia (during this, the boy repeatedly runs around a large campfire type fire).
  • To try to get into John's house at night, Evan jumps on a trampoline up to a tree branch.
  • Johnny keeps repeating "Ka-ka-ka."
  • Not looking where he's driving, Evan nearly hits a truck, turns sharp into an alley to miss that, and then swerves through traffic while racing to get to Olivia's school.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 craps, 2 hells, 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Oh for God's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Evan shirtless while doing some boxing related hitting of a heavy bag.
  • John's wife shows some cleavage.
  • Johnny's wife shows a little cleavage.
  • Trish shows some cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Evan is separated from Trish, with Olivia living with her mom. We also see that Evan isn't much of a father to her, what with being obsessed with work, etc. The latter doesn't sit well with Trish, and disappoints Olivia.
  • Evan gets mad at Olivia for not going back to bed and then talking to her imaginary friends after he told her she has to remain quiet if she's to stay in his home office while he works. That ultimately disappoints her again about her father and she asks him how many days until she gets to go home.
  • Evan uses his daughter to gain access to her imaginary friends and their business prognosticating skills. While that means he spends more time with her (including playing), he's doing so for his own benefit, not hers (although he finally has a change of heart at the end of the film).
  • Trish is disappointed in Evan for forgetting about a birthday party for their friends' daughter (and which Olivia would be attending).
  • Olivia is disappointed in her dad for having snuck into John's house to try to steal her blanket while she slept.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Kids having imaginary friends.
  • Parents who are too busy with work for their kids.
  • Financial managers and handling others' money.
  • People's concerns that Evan is involved in insider trading to get access to the information he somehow knows.
  • Johnny gives a brief graphical view of some business news, including that of an Eastern European country that set off a nuclear blast, and we briefly see an image of a mushroom cloud.
  • The comment that luck is for losers.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see John push Evan from his house at night (after the latter has broken and entered to get Olivia's blanket).
  • Evan falls down in an indoor kids play area, followed moments later by kids throwing balls at him.
  • Evan possibly pulls a girl's piggy tail or braided section of hair from her head after finding it tied to a blanket on which he gives a tug (we hear the ripping sound, but don't see anything).
  • To try to get into John's house at night, Evan jumps on a trampoline up to a tree branch. But he then falls, hits the trampoline, and bounces off hard to the ground (all of that after tripping in the yard and falling to the ground).
  • We see a repeat of the first scene where John forcibly pushes Evan from his house.



  • Reviewed June 6, 2009 / Posted June 12, 2009

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