“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is a great family film that unfortunately gets its release after most children (at least in Hawaii) are already back in school. Had this film been released earlier in the summer, it would be the perfect film for a family with young children to enjoy on a lazy summer day.
Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton star as Cindy and Jim, a young couple in a small town that can only exist in a Disney film. A pencil factory drives their town’s economy, and there’s even a pencil museum that apparently is the main tourist attraction. Cindy and Jim desperately want a child, but when they learn they can’t, they write down everything they would want their child to be, stuff the notes in a box, then bury the box in their backyard, ready to move on with their lives.
But then as if out of the book, “The Secret,” their hopes for a child are so strong their dreams are manifested the next morning when a mysterious young boy named Timothy appears in their house. Not able to figure out where he came from, they take him in as their own. But Timothy’s origin is not the only secret that Jim and Cindy have to hide. He also has leaves growing on his legs. The new parents want nothing more than for Timothy to just fit in and be normal, but the town soon learns that Timothy is much more than anyone could imagine.
Garner and Edgerton play their characters very earnestly, almost to a fault, but it works for the story. They want their new child to fit in so badly that they make many mistakes, but that’s to be expected when they never had the years of training that other parents have with children Timothy’s age. They are thrown into their situation with no warning, so the fact that they’re not perfect parents feels real. But CJ Adams who plays Timothy is the real key to the movie. He is optimistic, curious and charming, with no trace of the snark and attitude that many movie children have today. When Timothy’s secret is slowly revealed, the audience can’t help but to root for this new family.
While Hollywood continues to churn out every sequel, remake and comic book story available, it’s a pleasure to see a film with an original idea that’s executed well. I realize that weekends now are filled with Little League, soccer and piano lessons, but I highly recommend reserving a few hours to take the kids to see this movie.
“The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” 125 minutes, is Rated PG and opens in theaters today.
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