Movie Review: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“Hi. I’m Timothy,” says Timothy Green (CJ Adams), a naked young boy covered in dirt and soil to a very shocked married couple, Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim (Joel Edgerton), who’ve been trying to conceive a child with no success in Disney’s dramatic film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
After receiving the tragic news that they will not be able to conceive and have a child of their own, Cindy and Jim go home, drown their sorrows with some wine, and begin to wish for their perfect child, writing down all of his/her wonderful traits. Later that night they bury the box containing all their wishes in the garden. Waking after a strong but quick rain storm, Jim discovers a huge hole in the garden where he and Cindy buried the box and Cindy discovers little Timothy in their kitchen.
At first they believe he’s a lost little boy, but it’s not long before they realize that he has magically come from the garden to be their son. This becomes quite clear when he calls them Mom and Dad. Timothy asks only one thing from his parents, not to ask him about his leaves that seem to be growing from his lower legs. Beaming with happiness, Cindy and Jim are only too eager to take little Timothy in and give him the love and guidance he needs. Soon Timothy is not only having a strong and positive affect on Cindy and Jim but also the little town they live in and almost everyone he comes into contact with.
Sappy, slow, and silly, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a fantasy, comedy/drama fairy-tale about adoption that becomes incredibly predictable and has no heart-warming moments.
Newcomer CJ Adams is effective as Timothy the garden boy who seems to always be happy and positive and much wiser than any of the adults in town. One of the better storylines in the film is Timothy’s first crush on Joni (Odeya Rush) and the sweet friendship that develops between them. The two young actors capture perfectly the magic and awkwardness of innocent young love and true friendship that only happens a few times in life. It’s perhaps the only highlight of the film.
Jennifer Garner gives a forced and unbelievable performance as Cindy, the awkward, stumbling and over-protective mother who lacks any confidence in herself or in her parenting abilities. Almost every scene with her rings false. Joel Edgerton does a solid job at portraying Jim, the loyal, loving, bumbling husband who’s the true rock of the family and is already ahead of Cindy in the parent department.
One of the messages in the movie seems to be that perspective couples looking to become adoptive parents need a trial run with a practice child to sum up the courage and knowledge to become better parents. That’s, obviously, both bothersome and ridiculous.
Cheesy and forced, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is a family fantasy film that simply has no audience. Little children will be bored and adults and teenagers will be uninterested in this silly and obvious tale of the boy who came from the garden.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green hits theaters on August 15, 2012 and is rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language.