Movie Review: The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012)

Posted: May 22, 2014 in Comedy

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Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) and Cindy Green (Jennifer Garner) cannot conceive a child.  Distraught, they write their wishes of the perfect child on a piece of paper, and bury the paper in a box in the ground.  After a violent rainstorm, Jim and Cindy find a 10 year old boy, named Timothy, (CJ Adams) in their kitchen.  Timothy apparently grew in the Green’s backyard and he has leaves growing out of his legs to prove it. Timothy calls the Greens mom and dad.  The Greens, unable to find a missing child that fits Timothy’s description, call Timothy their own.

Timothy for his part tries to fit in, he wears socks everywhere so as not to reveal his foliage.  Timothy falls in love with a mysterious girl, Joni Jerome (Odeya Rush) befriends his aunts, uncles, and cousins at a family party, inspires his pencil factory worker dad to make a pencil made from leaves  Timothy even tries to join the soccer team, but only succeeds in making the team as a waterboy.  But as time passes Timothy notices that one by one, his leaves start to fall off.  What do the falling leaves mean to Timothy? Does he ever get a chance to speak to the girl of his dreams?  Does he get to start for the soccer team?

This is such a disastrous movie on so many levels, that it’s hard to fathom.  Why is a ten year old boy interested in girls at all?  In the middle of being bullied, Timothy calls the bullying an ‘art project.’ And lets it continue, and his so called girlfriend literally puts a cherry on top to complete the bullying.  It’s generally not a good idea to make light of bullying in a movie aimed at kids.  And Timothy acts inappropriately with adults at times, pulling off his mother’s boss’ glasses and hair clips to draw a picture of said boss. What ten year old would do that to an adult, and not be grounded for life?  To top it off this movie is so relentlessly predictable and unapologetically manipulative that it’s galling.  From the time Timothy’s first leaf fell, I knew what was going to happen, and it was nothing I wanted to see.  The story is so artificial, the kid is so perfect, kind, charming, funny, a great artist, I couldn’t find a connection to this movie, it didn’t speak from a place in reality, and so I couldn’t develop an emotional attachment to the movie, even though the writers desperately wanted me to.

The acting was uninspired.  Jennifer Garner plays the weepy, overprotective suburban mom as if she’s going through the motions.  Joel Edgerton plays the stalwart, blue-collar, factory worker dad, he’s determined to be a better father, and so he is.  He teaches his son soccer, he makes a pencil out of leaves for his son, and is unflinchingly cheerful despite being a step away from being laid off.  All of this make the character eminently boring, and Edgerton adds nothing to that mix. The kid looks like Haley Joel Osment and is likable, which is all Disney cared about apparently.

The movie is long, and the pace is slow, nothing stands out from a director’s point of view.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  Left me Green around the gills.

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