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The Odd Life of Timothy Green: The Dadding Review

I normally try to refrain from sharing spoilers when I discuss a film, but in the case of Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green, it has proven difficult. For that reason I have opened the gates and let the spoilers flow, so please be aware that there are many of them in the article below.

“It looks like a tearjerker,” I said.

“It is a tearjerker,” answered Jennifer Garner.

And it was.

Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green was created and directed by Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Dan in Real Life) and stars Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, and CJ Adams as the Green family.

The film starts with Cindy (Garner) and Jim Green (Edgerton) talking to an adoption agency about their qualifications as potential adoptive parents. All they have written on the application is “Timothy” and when pressed for more information their narrative, and the aforementioned odd life, begins:

It was a dark and stormy night, and the rain fell like so many spoilers (seriously, there really are spoilers ahead). Cindy and Jim Green had been trying to conceive for a long time and they were about to give up when one glass of wine turned into a bottle, and descriptions of their dream child were written down fast and furious. It was kind of like a drinking game.

When they had filled a small wooden box with their wine-soaked wishes they decided to brave the storm and bury it, dreams and all, in the garden. This is, apparently, how they get closure in small towns.

It turns out that vegetables aren’t the only things that spring eternal in a well-kept garden — there is also hope, and odd bits of mystic magic.

It was there, from a box of wishes and rich, deep soil, that Timothy Green (Adams) was born, and the Greens (and all that knew them) would never be the same.

Timothy Green entered the world at 10-years-old, covered in mud and sprouting leaves where socks should be. He was everything that the Greens had hoped for in a child, and the heart of the film lies in Timothy’s quest to meet each of their dreams, and in doing so he attempts to fix what is broken in those that live around them.

However, with every wish fulfilled another leaf does fall, and we are slowly alerted to the fact that Timothy’s odd life will also be short and sweet, with tender bouts of sadness.

There are many levels.

Throughout the movie we are witness to the evolution of parenting as the Greens face everything with a sudden newness that aims to remind us all that we should never take any of it for granted, we should never get too comfortable. Parenting, as we all know but sometimes forget, is not the place to grow complacent.

Timothy Green, in one short, odd life, shows everyone he meets that everything is fleeting in a fantastic sort of way, and it is best to be made the most of — life is a garden full of hope, and we are all sprouting odd bits of mystic magic.

“It looks like a tearjerker,” I said.

“It is a tearjerker,” answered Jennifer Garner.

And it was also full of smiles.

Notes for parents: I took my two boys, ages six and nine, to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and while they each had moments full of fidget, they did enjoy the film immensely and talked about their favorite parts for the entire car ride home. There are a number of emotional scenes in the movie including two deaths. For more information please read my interview with Jennifer Garner.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green opens everywhere on August 15.

Learn more by following The Odd Life of Timothy Green on Twitter and Facebook.

I attended a complimentary screening of this film for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Photos courtesy of Disney

Honea ExpressRead 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).


 

Also from Whit:

Disney Junior on the Go

The Neverending Boy

Theories on Child Growth

My Boys, the Olympics, and Bob Costas

Dad Bloggers Aren’t Special

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