Imagine That parents guide

Imagine That Parent Guide

Despite some brief Eddie Murphy antics, this film is obviously aimed much more at parents than kids. But adults likely won't be comforted by the story's saccharine solution to balancing home and work.

Overall B-

Evan (Eddie Murphy) is a desperate executive with no time for fun and games -- or even his daughter (Yara Shahidi). When he is forced to assume his fatherly responsibilities for the seven-year-old, he discovers Olivia's security blanket and imaginary world may have more impact on his job security and his world than he ever imagined.

Release date June 12, 2009

Violence B+
Sexual Content A
Profanity B
Substance Use B-

Why is Imagine That rated PG? The MPAA rated Imagine That PG for some mild language and brief questionable behavior.

Run Time: 107 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Because of a work obligation, my husband missed one of our children’s final school concerts—nine years ago—and I still feel bad. I know, I know, it’s time to let it go. (I’m sure my husband and son have long forgotten it.) But I thought of that again during a screening of Imagine That where writers presented moms and dads with a perfect fairytale approach to their parenting dilemmas.

In the film, Evan Danielson (Eddy Murphy) is right in the middle of a career meltdown. Yet he is lucky enough to have a boss who tolerates children at the office and allows his employee to walk out during an important client presentation to take care of family matters. After being summoned by the school, Evan discovers that the hubbub is over his seven-year-old daughter Olivia (Yara Shahidi) and the security blanket she carries around the playground to escape into an imaginary world full of princesses and dragons. The school principal chalks up the girl’s behavior to the recent breakup between Evan and his wife Trish (Nicole Ari Parker).

Unfortunately both parents are so involved with big projects at work that they have little time to deal with Olivia’s issues. That is until Olivia passes on some financial directives from the pretend princesses. Although Evan initially scoffs at the suggestions, he is suddenly back on his game and squelching his corporate competitor (Thomas Haden Church) when the investment predictions come true. Yet before long, Evan has merely replaced his obsessive dependence on his Blackberry with a reliance on Olivia’s imaginary friends.

While this script contains relatively mild amounts of content concern, those who want to make this film a family event should be aware that Evan’s presentation of investment advice from the princesses includes the use of numerous slang terms for fecal matter. Evan also has a co-worker who sets himself apart from the other financial executives in the office by playing up his Native American heritage. Unfortunately his actions often reflect negative stereotypes. Later, an adult force-feeds his child cans and cans of a caffeinated energy drink in an attempt to induce inspired financial recommendations.

Despite some brief Eddie Murphy antics that include silly singing and dancing in the streets, this film is obviously aimed much more at parents than children. But adults likely won’t be comforted by the story’s saccharine solution to balancing home and work responsibilities. Playing by a different set of rules, most movie parents live in upscale homes, even if they are separated or divorced. Money rarely seems to be a problem. Office assistants are happy to watch your child at work and almost every boss eventually comes around to appreciate your decision to put family first. In other words, life in the movies rarely reflects reality. Imagine that!

Starring Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahid. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release June 12, 2009. Updated

Imagine That
Rating & Content Info

Why is Imagine That rated PG? Imagine That is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild language and brief questionable behavior.

Slang names for fecal matter, mild profanities, terms of Christian Deity and some name calling are included in this film’s script that deals with family disputes and the consequences of divorce. Unflattering stereotypical depictions are shown of a Native American character. A man pretends to scalp himself. Children are offered adult beverages and one youngster suffers from the effects of multiple servings of a caffeinated energy drink. An adult yells at a child. Children pelt an adult with rubber balls. A character breaks into a home and attempts to steal an item. A character steps into manure. Alcohol is served with dinner.

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More parents' guide for Imagine That after the break...

Imagine That Parents' Guide

How does the divorce of Olivia’s parents impact the young girl? Why is her pretend world a happier place to be?

What are realistic ways your family tries to balance home and work responsibilities?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Imagine That movie is November 24, 2009. Here are some details…

Imagine That releases to home video on November 24, 2009.

Related home video titles:

Eddie Murphy plays another father who takes an active parenting role in Daddy Day Care. A self-absorbed football star has his life turned upside down when he discovers he has a daughter in The Game Plan. The more realistic challenges of single parenting are shown in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

The over-active imagination of a couple of kids changes the daily routine of their Uncle in the movie Bedtime Stories. And imagination is the secret ingredient behind a magical toy store called Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.