The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim (Joel Edgerton) are a happily married couple that are facing some hard times. Not only is their little town feeling the pinch of the recession, the couple also find out that they can't have children together. One night, while depressed and a little bit drunk, they write up a list of attributes that their child would have, and they put that list in a box and bury in the back yard. Then, one magical rainstorm later, Timothy (CJ Adams) appears in their kitchen, covered in mud and with odd leaves growing out of his legs. It would appear that their perfect child has just sprouted up from their yard.
While it is a cute idea, there is an overbearing sense of, well, oddness about this whole movie. It's almost like a reverse engineered zombie movie, with something that is unborn (rather than undead) raising up and stomping around looking for love (rather than brains). It doesn't help that CJ Adams plays Timothy rather unnervingly, with his perma-grin vaguely reminiscent of Haley Joel Osmond in A.I.
But if you can look past the weirdness - which is a struggle, so congratulations if you can - there is a very sweet movie to be enjoyed here. Almost too sweet, actually. There are parts which can probably cause instant onset diabetes, such as a family concert being so particularly cringe-worthy that it's difficult to make direct eye contact with the screen. But around these low points are some well-handled moments involving the likes of first loves, being bullied, deaths in the family and some of the other hurdles that go hand-in-hand with growing up.
Garner and Edgerton make for an adorable, realistic couple, complete with grown-up arguments and proper imperfections. They're helped out by a good supporting cast, and the perfectly named director Peter Hedges knows how to handle kookily humorous ensembles (Pieces Of April, Dan In Real Life). But this is his first movie aimed directly at kids, and the high levels of sugar here might just be too much for some.
Review by Rory Cashin | 15:01 | Wednesday 27th March 2013 | Movie Review