Directed By: Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life)
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
Rating: PG for mild thematic elements and brief language
Run Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Synopsis: When Jim and Cindy Green (Edgerton and Garner) are told they can't bear their own children, they bury a box full of their slips of paper containing descriptions of what their perfect child would be like. Magically, overnight, a 10-year-old boy named Timothy sprouts into their life just as they described him, and he goes on to positively effect not only them but their entire town.
Andrew: Hello readers! So we know it's been a little slow lately but it's for good reason. I'm currently out-of-state working on the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania while Sarah is still back in Connecticut. So my schedule's pretty busy AND we're not able to see movies together until I return on August 26th. That said, while we can't see any movies together right now, we were each able to catch this week's first new release, Disney's The Odd Life of Timothy Green, starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton.
Sarah, we're probably not going to be able to do a full preview this week, but we've seen the trailer for this film about a hundred times and I know I personally have been looking forward to it just to see what it's really about. Also, I'm a fan of Edgerton's after his turn in Warrior. What about you?
Sarah: The only reason I wanted to see this movie was to see how Edgerton did in it. I really didn't care all that much about what the story was actually about. But I was pleasantly surprised! This was actually a pretty cute movie and I really enjoyed Garner's performance too! She's not typically my favorite actor but she was good in this. I also really liked CJ Adams (Timothy Green). He had such expressive eyes and did well for a newbie.
Now on to the story. What did you think about Timothy and his life with the Greens?
A: Whoa whoa, hold on, I want to say that I totally agree with you on the performances by the three leads. I thought Edgerton, Garner and Adams all did a phenomenal job. I particularly think Garner and Edgerton did a fantastic job of portraying a couple that is devastated by the realization that they'll never be able to have a baby of their own flesh and blood. They killed me early on. (I know, I'm a softie. I blame the whole marriage thing just like Sarah does.) And Adams was darn good as Timothy. He was just so bubbly and bright, it was perfect for his character.
So now to answer your question: I enjoyed many aspects of Timothy and his life with the Greens. A lot of it is schmaltzy stuff, maybe a little too saccharine at times, but it all felt very organic. A lot of what happened on screen had me smiling and rooting for them (internally, don't worry, Sarah). Your thoughts on the Green's story?
S: I liked the Green's story. Like you said, it was very organic for the three of them. When they are excited or hurt, it didn't seemed forced, which it EASILY could have. But outside their nuclear unit, I would say that they organic feel stopped there. The Greens live in this small town, USA, that is famous for making pencils. I felt like, besides the Greens, the rest of the people in this town were just awful human beings!
|Solid performances all around by the leads in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and even though scenes like these are cheesy as all get-out, somehow it works.|
S: I agree with you on the leaves. It didn't bother me as much but still, it was a little annoying. I get that the focus in on the Greens but I just don't see how so many people could be so negative.
Now, this movie begins with the Greens in an adoption agency and the Greens talking to the social workers. They are telling "their story" about Timothy. Right off the bat, you know that this movie is not going to end with Timothy in the picture. Even with that, I was actually really touched by the way they wrapped up the story. I actually welled up with tears as well!
A: I was pleasantly surprised by the story-telling device they used with the flashbacks. While those adoption agency scenes were maybe the weakest parts of the film because I did not like Shoreh Aghdashloo's (House of Sand & Fog) performance as the adoption agency worker, I was not expecting the story to unfold that way.
And yes, the whole thing ends in a way that brought a couple tears to my eyes, and in a good way. Again, it's schmaltzy, but dang it I didn't care. I ended up caring about the characters and it got to me. I think that's a testament to the performances and story-telling by co-writer/director Peter Hedges, who has some good experience with movies that hit you emotionally. He wrote both the novel and screenplay for What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, he wrote the screenplay for About a Boy, and he directed Dan in Real Life (which is an underrated film, in my opinion).
So final thoughts?
S: I think this is a cute movie. Will we own it? Probably not. Is it a fun one to see with the family that both the kids and parents will enjoy? Absolutely.
FINAL VERDICT: A nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
|(Out of Five clapboards)|