By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green"
is quite an odd, yet sweet little movie.
Directed by Peter Hedges--screenwriter, "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "Dan in Real Life" and "Pieces of April")--the film wears its emotions all over the place and is meant to tug at the heartstrings providing you suspend all disbelief.
It's a Disney movie, so you know things will end happily ever after. Still, the journey to that end is fun and at times even magical.
Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner "Juno") and Joel Edgerton ("Warrior" and "The Thing") live a pretty simple life in a small town. Jim works at the local pencil factory and Cindy works at the pencil museum and enjoys coming home to tend to her bountiful garden.
The couple have tried for years to have a child of their own but can't. So, they consider adopting one.
Before they go to the adoption agency, they think of all the things that they would have wanted their child to be like and they write them down on pieces of paper. They start with things like the color of the child's eyes, hair, shape of their ears, whether or not they would be athletic, a musical prodigy and all sorts of other attributes.
Then Cindy and Jim place the notes in a wooden box and bury them in their garden. While in bed one night, a torrential rain storm hits and nearly floods them out of house and home. They are awakened by a noise inside the house. When they get out of bed to see what's going on in the other bedroom, they notice a muddy, little kid peering from behind a bed. He shyly introduces himself as Timothy (CJ Adams).
Cindy and Jim don't know if this is a joke or a miracle. They would prefer the latter. Although Timothy comes with a bit of baggage—actually some leaves growing from his leg—this may be the boy of their dreams.
Of course as they are telling this story—shown in flashbacks--to two representatives of the adoption agency, they aren't sure if Cindy and Jim are fit to be parents. Who can blame them after hearing a crazy tale like that?
But Timothy is no figment of Cindy and Jim's imagination. And before long this nine-year-old boy is as much a part of their family as they ever hoped for. And Timothy certainly tests their parenting skills.
At first Cindy and Jim plan to keep Timothy hidden from their family, especially from Cindy's sister and the neighbors. Then they decide that Timothy is who he is and they introduce him to everyone as their child.
Timothy has no problem fitting in with the other kids he meets because he doesn't know anything else. His infectious personality catches the attention of a girl named Joni (Odeya Rush, TV's "Curb Your Enthusiasm").
Joni has a secret too and tells Timothy he likes him because he's so different. They become best friends and spend lots of time together.
Timothy is odd, but in a good way. People in the small town also discover he's a pretty smart kid too. It's Timothy who actually comes up with an idea that literally saves the pencil factory from shutting down.
The scenes involving Timothy trying to adapt at school, take part in a musical recital and learning how to play soccer with his coach, (a very good Common), are just some of the humorous and touching moments in the film.
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green" may be a corny, syrupy sweet, movie, but it's a pretty good one.
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Take a look at the trailer for The Odd Life Of Timothy Green.