Rare are PG movies. Even more uncommon are PG movies that are entertaining for the entire family. In the wrong hands The Odd Life of Timothy Green could’ve been a disaster. Thankfully the strong script, solid acting and just enough magic combine to make a wonderful family film that covers all the bases without stopping too long on any one of them.
The Greens, played by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton have been trying for a long time to have a child. When their doctor finally gives them the news that it’s almost impossible for them to conceive, they go home and over a bottle of wine, create a short list of qualities their son would have. At the end of their daydreaming they bury those qualities in the garden and are suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by an 8 year old boy covered in mud.
My eyes rolled too when I heard the premise. Had Tim Burton directed this movie it would’ve been about some freaky, misunderstood garden boy with a dark secret who just wants to fit in and looks like Johnny Depp. Timothy Green also has shades of Forest Gump in that you’re always rooting for this character and their eccentricities. Thankfully, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is based on a story by Ahmet Zappa and Director Peter Hedges play it slightly magical and not weird at all.
The Greens accept their very new son and introduce him to their family. Timothy learns new skills but ultimately teaches his family more about life than they learn from him. The only part about the plot that left me feeling flat was Jim Green’s (Edgerton) boss at the pencil factory played by Ron Livingston. In the end it all comes full circle and the little plot bumps that slowed it down are explained and forgiven.
This is a charming movie that is well made and one that can be enjoyed by kids 7 and up. At the screening I attended the audience was evenly split between adults and kids. You’ll enjoy The Odd Life of Timothy Green. It’s a bittersweet comedy that starts out seemingly very serious and downbeat, but quickly brings you into its enchanted world.