For the past few months, you’ve seen several posts here about The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The main reason for this is that I really, really liked it! I’ve been anxious to share my thoughts about the movie with you but had to wait until the national release date drew closer. Well, I have the official ‘green light’ to share my review so here it goes!
The Odd Life of Timothy Green starts off with a couple that has done everything to conceive a child but are faced with the fact that it just isn’t possible. So, to find some sort of closure, they decide to write down all the qualities their ideal child would have and seal them in a wooden box. They then bury the box in the garden and give up on having having a child of their own. That evening, a storm hits but only in the vicinity of this couple’s house. The result? The box is now a boy with leaves on his legs, named Timothy. Yes, this is a bit silly but it actually works really well in the overall storyline.
Throughout the movie, parents and children of all sorts are featured. Despite their different ideas on what family is or should be, Timothy helps them all to realize just how important their short time together is and the joys children provide. If you are a parent or know of one (okay, that’s pretty much everyone) and would enjoy an honest, sweet movie, you will love The Odd Life of Timothy Green. Period. My favorite quote from the movie was when the couple was asked what they would do differently and Jennifer Garner’s character says, “We’d make better mistakes.” It’s so true that being a parent is an on-going process from which we learn and change during. As a side point, to save you an uncomfortable amount of embarrassment, make sure you bring a pack of tissues, or two, or three.
Last week, I attended another screening but this time with my husband and daughter. This is what they thought of the film:
The way Timothy came to the family seemed very unrealistic and was tough to get into. After a while though, my husband really started to enjoy the film. He said the father was very easy to relate to and Joel Edgerman did a great job in making his part very real with the feelings a father would have. I caught Frans laughing out loud a few times but the look on his face when Timothy made the ‘winning goal’ was priceless, especially with his European background with soccer. By the end of the movie, I did have to give him a tissue to blot the bit of watering in his eyes, which was *cough* probably some dust floating around.
My daughter was often giggling and turning to me with wide-open, excited eyes. She did think the storm and Timothy coming out was creepy, though. Her favorite part was when the parents were ‘rocking out’ with Timothy. She thought it was silly but expressed that she couldn’t see us doing that. She could also relate to Timothy’s ‘winning goal’ as she said that she’s done that and probably everyone has at one point. While she liked the film and would be happy to see it again together, it was really a ‘family’ movie and not one she’d choose to watch on her own or just with friends. Fair enough. Oh, it was also awesome that the movie was presented so clearly and that I didn’t have to answer an unending stream of questions afterwards like I usually have to!
When I watched this in New York, our group had the privilege of chatting with the film’s director, Peter Hedges. The basis of the movie sprang from an experience he and his wife had with their son. He was about 15 years old at the time and wanted to spend time with his friends instead of joining the family on vacation. Typical teenager, right? Peter’s wife took a sheet of paper and wrote a timeline from 0 to 90, with various increments in between like 15, 30, etc. She pointed to the area from 0 to 15 and said that was the limited time they had him. The rest of the time he would have on his own but his parents only got to spend those first 15 short years with him. Well, he ended up choosing to go on the family vacation. Touching, right?
The Odd Life of Timothy Green is the perfect film to watch as a family. There’s no magic, swearing, violence, etc. The parents do have a small argument and several characters make thoughtless remarks, ones that are mirrored in real life. There’s nothing I would ‘warn’ about though as this is a wholesome, enjoyable film.
If you see one movie this summer, make it The Odd Life of Timothy Green! Let me know if you agree with our stellar review when you see it after the national release on 8/15!