It was hot and there was laughter everywhere. The kids were running through obstacle courses and other organized fun while the nice people of Frigidaire, one of the sponsors for the event we were attending, kept them entertained with silly jokes and laundry facts.
Frigidaire and Disney’s Adventures in Clean was a family outing at Griffith Park in Los Angeles to highlight the new Affinity line of washers and dryers that, if I understand correctly, use a lot less energy and water while still providing the type of results that fans of Frigidaire are accustomed to. You know who you are.
The Disney half of the sponsorship was promoting their new family film The Odd Life of Timothy Green, which we saw later that day (review to come).
You may be wondering how the two are connected, which is a fair question. The answer is pretty simple, the movie stars a little boy with a propensity for getting dirty, and the washers and dryers are designed to keep layers of such clothing quite a bit cleaner.
Also, Frigidaire spokesperson Jennifer Garner is one of the stars of The Odd Life of Timothy Green, so maybe her people made it happen. I wasn’t privy to such details.
And so it was that I found myself on a chair beneath the biggest tree in the park with Jennifer Garner sitting next to me. We chatted.
Whit: What can you tell me about The Odd Life of Timothy Green?
Jennifer Garner: The movie is about this woman Cindy Green and her husband Jim Green and they are unable to have kids, and they are thrust into parenthood with a little bit of magic and a lot of wishing. It’s kind of a mystical realism… there’s a mystical realism to the film.
W: So it’s kind of like real parenting.
JG: (laughs) It’s kind of like real parenting. And you just watch them through their successes and failures — this new kind of love, and they try to figure it out. Their relationship changes. It’s the truest… I’m really curious to hear what you think because the men I know that saw it have said that it’s the truest version of being a father that they have seen, and I definitely think it is the truest version of motherhood.
W: That’s good to know. That’s the angle that I generally take at events like this, where I am more or less the token dad [note — there were other men at the event, but I was the only dad blogger there for media coverage].
JG: Peter Hedges wrote and directed the film, and this movie is from his heart. It’s such a rare and original screenplay, not from a book, not a sequel…
W: So there won’t be a sequel? Timothy’s Odd Little Sister?
JG: (laughs) Yeah, there’s definitely not a sequel here. He (Hedges) is an incredible father, and fatherhood is something that has clearly affected him, like it would anyone, and he’s so talented that he can put that into the movie. The men I know that have seen it so far were crying by the end of the movie.
W: Funny you should say that. I was at D23 (a Disney convention held in Anaheim, CA every other year) when you came out and talked about the film, and my wife and I just looked at each other and said, “Wow, that’s going to be a tearjerker.”
JG: It is a tearjerker.
W: You can feel the emotion — to the point I wasn’t sure if I would take my kids to the movie. I wasn’t sure who the movie was for.
JG: It works on many levels.
W: I hope so because I’m taking them today!
JG: How old are they?
W: Nine and six.
JG: Oh yeah, they’ll get it for sure. It will hit you on a different level. There’s a childhood friendship that they will really connect to, but you’ll see it from your point of view.
W: I’m a big sap, so I’m sure.
JG: Oh yeah! I hope I run into you after the screening. I want to hear what you have to say [note — she didn't run into me after the screening, and now Jennifer Garner will have to wait for my review like everyone else].
W: Looking forward to it. Thank you for your time, Jennifer.
JG: Thank you, Whit. We’re glad you’re here… and thanks for being the token dad.
It’s important to note that Frigidaire is also working with the charity Save the Children which supports families living in poverty in the United States (one in four children in the U.S. is living below the poverty level). It is a worthy cause and Jennifer Garner was, as you might imagine, passionate in speaking about it. Please visit the Frigidaire Adventures in Clean Facebook page for more information.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).
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Photos courtesy of Frigidaire and Disney