Hey Guys and Dolls! Here it is, my The Odd Life of Timothy Green (or Timothy Green for short) review. Let me start this review with the usual disclaimer:
Spoiler Alert: I will do my best to keep this review as free of spoilers as I possibly can. However one person's common knowledge is another person's spoiler (The kid's name is Timothy?!)
Now that we're done with that on to the review! A short synopsis. Timothy Green is the story of a couple (Cindy and Jim Green) who after learning they cannot have children dream up the perfect child. He comes out of their garden and teaches them how to be parents. Not perfect parents but great parents.
I like lists. So I'm going to list the things I liked about this movie followed by the things I didn't love and then end with a short blurb about what I liked (to those of you who are not used to critique this is a compliment sandwich. YUM!)
What I liked about Timothy Green:
- It really is a heart felt story. I'm not a crier and even I had to break out a tissue.
- The cast is phenomenal! Very talented and highly believable. This was especially important with Timothy because he's such a sweet charater the wrong actor could have ruined him.
- The promise of the beginning pays off at the end. Leaves, nature, even pencils, all of it is a thematic thread throughout the film and at the end it all makes sense.
- It's a positive and uplifting movie. I don't feel like we've seen movies that we're just pure positivity in a long time.
- It's funny. There are a ton of laugh out loud moments.
- If you are from a patchwork family (ME!) you will appreciate how this film looks at family and how it emphasizes that different is ok even great.
- You will love Timothy. I didn't want to. Mostly characters this cheery and positive get on my nerves. But I loved him! I wanted to see what he did next and how he changed the life of the next person he ran into.
- Cindy and Jim will be easy to relate to. I think most parents will get wanting to be the best parent ever and realizing that you just have to be the best parent to your kid. You will love watching them try to do the best they can even though they have no clue what they're doing.
- In a way it reminded me of all good fantasy films. It uses a convoluted and impossible premise to teach us a lesson about simple everyday truths. In that way Timothy Green is beautiful. You can suspend disbelief about the boy who grew in the garden and just believe in the truths of family and friendship and love (did I just get cheesy?).
- It uses a framing device that I am not too fond of. Every time I felt like I was completely drawn into the narrative (main story) this framing device would come along and pull me out of it. Basically the movie was supposed to be a big flashback and this framing device (sorry that's the only name I have for it) would cut in and out. It was like the writers didn't rely on the strength of their story and added this just in case. The story is really strong and beautiful without it. Also you may want to ignore me on this one as I had just gotten out of six weeks of screenwriting graduate level courses and see films differently than most.
- Besides Timothy and his family everyone seemed like they were jerks. I guess that makes how they change seem even more special but still! Everyone this kid meets is a bit of a jerk.
Timothy Green is one of the best movies I've seen all year! I want to own it on DVD and it just came out in theaters today. If you go see it let me know what you think!