Title: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Director(s): Paul Hedges
Release Year: 2012
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
**I got a chance to go see this a month in advance of when it actually comes out, which was endearing, but that also means there’s no IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes score yet. Regardless, that just means no chance of influence on my rating, just my own reflection on the film.**
The Odd Life of Timothy Green was not a movie that I necessarily was excited about, but that was partially due to the genre it was. Doesn’t matter if you agree with me, live-action family films are more often than not brimming with cheesy dialogue and corny situations that tend to pull me out of the experience. In the case of this film, it definitely comprised of a lot of these classic family elements that made it hard for me to appreciate fully. To say that this movie has a unique premise is only partially accurate, but it does everything it sets out to do right, despite it’s problems with originality.
The movie stars Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Jennifer Garner (13 Going on 30) who have been trying desperately to have a child but to no avail. The two plant a box of notes detailing what traits their perfect child would have, and soon wake up to find a child running around their house covered in mud. Yes, he grew from a box of notes, and in case you were wondering, he definitely does have leaves attached to his legs. This is about as absurd as the movie gets though, and surprisingly the film doesn’t consist entirely of jokes about how Timothy (played by CJ Adams) grew from a garden. Like Another Earth, the movie doesn’t seem too concerned with it’s own quirk and goes right back into going with the motions, like any other family film. The difference being that this movie has some scenes that are actually pretty heart-warming.
There are some casting choices that I enjoyed in this film, like Ron Livingston as the boss of the factory where Joel Edgerton’s character works (reverse-Office Space), Common as the school soccer coach, and David Morse as Joel Edgerton’s father. However, I really dislike Jennifer Garner, and whenever she tried to be funny in the film, I shut down. Joel Edgerton was fine though, but both their performances felt pretty forced. Adams was good as Timothy though, but he just had to be quirky when necessary and smile when the camera was on him. He really felt a lot like a more conservative version of the boy from About a Boy (both this and that film were written by Paul Hedges), and in fact, a lot of this movie borrows heavily from that film in it’s character interactions. Timothy has a girlfriend who likes him because he’s weird, just like in that film, and there’s a drive for Timothy’s parents to make sure Timothy isn’t seen as weird, just like Hugh Grant did in About a Boy. To be honest, if you really want a family movie to watch that’s more enjoyable, I’d argue seeing About a Boy over this one. However, if you simply can’t stand Hugh Grant, then I’d understand picking this movie over that one.
It’s tricky for me to give this movie a recommendation because it doesn’t do anything new, and has some lackluster performances. However, it does comprise of some scenes that will pull at the heart-strings, and some of the minor character performances are actually not bad even though their characters themselves are fairly generic. I definitely recommend seeing About a Boy over this film, because I feel it does the character interactions much better because of the lead kid in that film doing more acting. But like I said, if you need a family film this summer to go see in theaters, The Odd Life of Timothy Green should definitely suffice. For my taste though, I probably won’t see this film again for a long, long time, if ever.
Overall: Not Recommended