Endearing nostalgic childhood movie. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is as sappy as it is young at heart, a mild & charming family movie about a young boy who sprouts from the ground. Timothy (CJ Adams) isn’t born naturally, but he seems to have developed emotions, an ability to adapt to sports, arts and music, yet a little naivete gets him teased a little. Jim and Cindy (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) lost their first child – via subtle story information – and went wishing for a boy. Little ones in the audience might go home and plant their wishes in the ground in hopes they come true. Slightly older boys might form an instantaneous crush on Jen Garner, the kind of adorable and pillowy mom all pre-teen boys moving into their teens think lushly about.
Mostly though, this is just an innocent fable set in Stanleyville, North Carolina where eternal autumn leaves decorate the trees and spatter the ground. Those who have travelled or thought of travelling to the East Coast will love these autumn leaves shots, and might consider booking or planning their next road trip. The life complications of these characters are a lot easier to conquer when the surroundings are so idyllic.
Timothy looks a bit young, but awww… he’s smitten with schoolgirl Joni (Odeya Rush). She self-declares her differences, too, for she has a birthmark. When it’s a large birthmark, we’re all a bit self-conscious, are we not? Anyway, Timothy has an overtly honest way with his Mom’s boss (Dianne Wiest) that gets Mom in trouble with her job, helps Dad at his job, has a dying grandfather who he has just gotten to know, and has trials and errors playing soccer. The crucial moral of the movie, by the way, is that Mom and Dad want to be perfect parents raising the perfect kid. Only they learn to embrace their child’s imperfections.
I was in a softie mood, and I bought the far-fetched cheesy magic. I enjoyed the scenery, had sentimental recall of my first crushes, and generally left me with good vibes. Ron Livingston, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith, David Morse, rap star Common, and Rosemarie DeWitt as the competitive anal-retentive sister fill out the cast. Peter Hedges previously directed the warmedy kitsch “Pieces of April” and the underrated “Dan in Real Life.”
104 Minutes. Rated PG.
FAMILY MOVIE / MILD & CHARMING / WEEKEND DINNER AND FAMILY MOVIE
Film Cousins: “D.A.R.Y.L.” (1985); “The Boy Who Could Fly” (1986); “Martian Child” (2007); “August Rush” (2007).