¨Please don't ask about my leaves.¨
I’m generally a fan of Disney family movies and don’t mind when they get overly sentimental or extremely sweet as long as the characters have depth and the story rings authentic. The problem I had with The Odd Life of Timothy Green wasn’t that it was too emotional or sweet, but rather that the story never felt authentic. I know the story is fictional, but even so I never believed the father and son relationship, and the movie really never connected with me. Like the title suggests it felt too odd and weird. I enjoyed Peter Hedges previous movie (Dan in Real Life). He is mostly known of course for writing the screenplay for What`s Eating Gilbert Grape. Hedges definitely has a lot of talent, but this film just failed to connect with me. In my opinion it is one of his weakest efforts. He adapted the screenplay from Ahmet Zappa`s story. I really wouldn’t watch this film again even though I liked the actors. I loved Joel Edgerton in Warrior and Jennifer Garner is a well liked actress. CJ Adams did a very good job in the title role as Timothy, but as much as I liked these actors I never enjoyed the story. Everything seemed so disconnected from reality and I couldn’t find any character with depth. It was like if they were in a rush to tell the story and they never stopped to focus on the relationships that were being built.
The film begins by introducing us to a young couple from Stanleyville (the pencil capital of the world) who is trying to adopt a kid. Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) are being interviewed in order to see if they are qualified and thus they begin to narrate the story about the boy who changed their lives: Timothy. The entire film is told in flashback style while the couple is in the interview. They story begins with them in the doctor`s office where they are given the bad news that they will never be able to have children. That night they arrive home devastated by the news, but Jim decides to dream for one last night about their child. They begin to name several qualities that child would have and they write them down. After coming up with several qualities they put them inside a box and bury it in their backyard garden. That night a strong storm hits their home and they wake up to a strange sound in the house. They discover a young boy named Timothy (CJ Adams) who has leaves growing out of his ankles. Timothy calls them mom and dad, and that is when Jim and Cindy discover that their dream child has grown out of their garden. Timothy teaches them several lessons about life and parenting. He also falls in love with a young girl named Joni (Odeya Rush) who helps him to adopt to the new life. A few surprises happen along the way as Timothy meets the rest of the family and town members. He inspires and changes the lives of Jim and Cindy forever.
As much as I wanted to like this family friendly movie I couldn’t. The film lacked authenticity or at least a sense of minimal believability in a fairytale. I liked CJ Adams performance, but his character wasn’t really well developed either. He was a little too odd and I never felt the connection between him and his parents. This is yet another movie that seems to tell us that children are wiser than their parents, but I will make an exception here because we were dealing with a miraculous kid. There is not much more I can say about this film, you either love it or hate it. With me it failed to make any connection whatsoever, but it is a sweet family friendly film. I didn’t find it to be very emotional although it does try to be a tearjerker. It never reached that emotional level or touching moment that I was hoping for.