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“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is about a sterile couple, so…start getting excited.
The “magic” starts when the couple (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) designs the perfect son on paper, writing down all the characteristics they would want their imaginary son to have. They then inexplicably bury the box of paper in their garden, as if the son they JUST IMAGINED is already dead, along with their dreams and hopes. Depressing.
However, a boy comes out of the garden and becomes the son the yearning couple always wanted…and he has leaves on his legs. So it sounds like the boy, Timothy, will be magical in some way, but sadly, he just comes off as the title suggests – odd. Naturally, some family members and schoolmates (and me) find him weird except for a fellow outcast goth-y-type girl. Together, Timothy and the girl create art works in the woods with plants, leaves and twigs that the movie finds far more fascinating than I did.
Dianne Wiest shows up ‘cause the film needed a good performance, but then she gets roped into the saying the film’s most awkward line at a completely contrived town hall scene where an invention, inspired by Timothy, might be just what the small, pencil-making town of Stanleyville needs to save the factory! And it plays out just as sugary as it sounds.
And I don’t think I’m being too cynical here. Writer/director Peter Hedges has made good films, I particularly like “Pieces of April”, which showcased more thoughtful, genuine characters than “Timothy Green”, whose stock cast full of small-town conventionally earnest characters just screams “Please like me!”.
It’s obvious Timothy has arrived to help the would-be parents brush up on their parenting skills before they actually adopt, but there isn’t much reason beyond that for this whole story to happen.
The characters in “Brave” are less aware they’re in a movie than anyone here, so that remains my pick for family viewing this summer, although there isn’t much.
Directed by: Peter Hedges
Release Date: August 15, 2012
Run Time: 105 Minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures