Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012)

Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim (Joel Edgerton) Green are fighting to keep their dreams of having a child alive. Distraught and unable to conceive as a couple, Jim comes up with a unique idea to give his wife some hope. Cindy and Jim write out lists of achievements and attributes for their dream child, Jim places the lists in a box, and Jim buries the box in the backyard garden.

One night, during a sudden and unexpected rainstorm, a child named Timothy (CJ Adams) pops up out of the garden, and he sneaks into the Green’s house. Bewildered and delighted, Cindy and Jim embrace and accept Timothy as their own child. But The Green’s delightful surprise has a bizarre physical condition. Cindy discovers leaves growing on Timothy ‘s legs, and soon enough, The Greens will have to introduce Timothy into the real world. Can Timothy gain the acceptance and trust from Tom and Cindy’s families, and fit in as a regular kid at school?

Director Peter Hedges provides some beautiful daytime shots during autumn season, but his style is simplistic.

CJ Adams is likeable as Timothy Green. Odeya Rush portrays Joni, Timothy’s only friend at school. Rush sheds a few tears towards the end, and she showed signs of real talent every now and then. Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton are believable sympathetic characters, Ron Livingston is spot on as Jim’s douchebag boss, and David Morse provides a solid performance, as the tough and old school father (Morse portrays Jim’s dad).

Peter Hedges also wrote the screenplay for this film, and as a writer, Hedges tries to provide a genuinely moving and emotional story. But I had trouble buying into the fantasy side of this film. It’s easy to feel sympathy for Jim and Cindy. They’re caring people, who want the experience of being parents, but Timothy’s origins raised too many mind-boggling questions.

Once Timothy’s leaves start to fall off and turn brown, his fate becomes painfully obvious. When Timothy starts to lose his leaves, the story turns into a predictable and boring snooze fest. “Yep. Just waiting for him to die now.” I couldn’t escape this feeling, and for me, The Odd Life Of Timothy Green’s home stretch was a chore to sit through.

The flimsy premise was too shaky for my taste, but The Odd Life Of Timothy Green features a strong cast and a nice set of likeable characters. Timothy’s life story is far fetched, but The Odd Life Of Timothy Green has a good heart. And more importantly, this film never reaches a too sappy point, because there’s a good balance of humor and drama.

Final Rating: 5/10

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