The topsy turvy carrer of Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop
) takes a decent footing in this fun family comedy, which is quite similar territory to Dwane Johnson's The Game Plan
from a couple of years prior to this offering. Imagine That, takes to the World of financial advisement, as Evan Danielson's (Murphy) promising carrer has hit some bumps, as he comes up against the eccentric & sucessfull Johnny Whitefeather (Haden Chruch). Evan's estranged wife Trish (Ari parker) and more importantly his 7 year old daughter Olivia (Shahidi) who he hasnt shown much time for, start to re-connect & she introduces him to her imaginary friends, who it turns out, have some hot tips to help Evan's carrer, but it's not going to be all smooth running.
Overall i found this film hit the mark more often than not. For the most part Eddie Murphy was very good & believable, as he played things in a sensible manner, although with a couple of those OTT scenes. Yara Shahidi (The First Family) was perfect as the sweet daughter with imaginary friends & had a good rapport with Murphy. Thomas Haden Church (Sideways
), Ronny Cox (BHCop), Nicole Ari Parker (Soul Food
) & a cameo from Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now
) added good backbone to the story in support to Murphy.
The story itself was good, it maintained a steady level of watchability from start to end. I did find Murphy's character being a somewhat odd choice, being a boring financial adviser, in that it doesnt seem upbeat enough for the younger viewer, as it may bore some of the target audience. Still, it manages to inject some fun moments with the Murphy/Shaidi collaborations to break things up & keep things interesting for the younger audiences. However when Shaidi isnt around, Thomas Haden Church, as, Johnny Whitefeather, manages to bring some higher brow humour in, but this seemed more aimed towards older children/adults, bringing the film full circle into a child/adult audience target.
In conclusion, It's not as good or bubbly as The Game Plan, but, Imagine That borrows some ideas from past sucessfull films of the genre to create a watchable, heartwarming & touching family comedy. Recommended.