The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Rated: PG

        This one's a little hard to place into one of the normal genres. I guess if I had to put it in one, I'd say it's a family fantasy. While its not what I'd consider a traditional fantasy, (there are no dragons, no elves, no orcs, etc), the premise of this movie is in no way possible in the real world and there’s really no other category it fits nicely into.

         Cindy and Jim Green have tried for years to have children and have been through every possible fertility method available. Feeling disillusioned and fed up they decide to, for one night, imagine they have the child of their dreams. They write down every accomplishment and trait they'd like him or her to have. At the end of the night they put the list in a box and bury it in the garden. Later that night a young boy arrives on their doorstep. The Green family is then sent on the journey they'd always wanted, but were they really ready for it?

            The Odd Life of Timothy Green, while pleasant and sentimental enough, doesn't really leave you with the heart-warming feeling Disney was obviously going for and wasn't much different than every other “new parent” movie out there. There are triumphant moments and there are mistakes made. The fact that Timothy grew out of the garden doesn't make this movie different enough to make it worth watching. Not to mention that all through the movie we're shown scenes of the Greens at an adoption agency, explaining how their experience with Timothy makes them qualified to be adoptive parents. How does spending a couple of months at most, with a child that's not really yours, or real at all for that matter, qualify you to be a parent?

            The one shining beacon of light in this movie was CJ Adams, who played Timothy. He's fairly new to the movies, making appearances in 2007's Dan In Real Life and the Metalheads video “The Good, The Bad and The Evil” in 2008. This was his first big role and he was very impressive, both for a newcomer and for such a young actor. His portrayal of Timothy gave the movie the genuineness and believability it was otherwise lacking. The innocence, acceptance and honesty he gave to this role was a real treat in a movie whose plot was so easily foreseeable that a child could've written it.

            All in all, unless your children are begging you to see this one, (which I highly doubt), don't bother. There really is no point in seeing a movie all the way through when you can guess the entirety of the plot within the first five minutes. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is overacted, overemotional and terribly sweet, even by Disney standards. The supposed deep and touching meanings in this film were just the same old beat to death cliches: “Treat others as you want to be treated,” “Anything is possible if you just believe hard enough,” “Its OK to be different because everyone is different” “Everyone's a winner if they tried their best.” With so many movies pushing those same messages separately, (several of them from Disney), I didn't expect this movie to promote them all at once as hard as it did; especially since it isn't rated for the youngest kids. At this stage in the game I suspect that its time for Disney to start promoting messages that are a little more fitting to the times, especially in movies geared towards older kids and adults. Perhaps in the future we'll see movies from them that push messages like “you can't always get what you want,” “life isn't always fair,” and “no matter how hard you try, you may still fail.” Don't get me wrong, I love the Disney brand, and I cherish and continue to enjoy many of their movies, but not all of them can be considered classics. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is one I hope they'll quickly put back in the “vault” and leave there for good!

            The Odd Life of Timothy Green stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and CJ Adams and was directed by Peter Hedges. Its rated PG and is available now on Blu-Ray, digital download and DVD.