There are movie trailers that sometime give away everything in their two and a half minute timeframe, and there are some trailers that show very little of how the movie is, or really…what happens. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” was a film of the latter. The trailer shows us that a couple is incapable of having a child, and just like that, a boy shows up in their garden. The rest is a puzzle. So let’s take a deeper look into that odd life of his.
The first thing you should know is that this film starts out as pretty much an extended version of the trailer described above. Cindy (Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) do find out that they cannot bare children, and the first few minutes deals with how they cope with that fact. As a form of moving on, this couple jots down everything that they would have wanted their kid to be like, and then they buried those notes. That night, rain poured down and just like any other plant, Timothy Green (CJ Adams) was born…or grown rather. On his legs are a few attached leaves.
The only thing that Timothy is sure about is that Jim and Cindy are his parents. So they did what anyone would do in their situation, they cared for him as if he was their own, only acted as if they adopted him. Of course they were new parents, so maybe they didn’t handle everything exactly right, but it was clear that they loved each other. Timothy meets a girl that has a secret of her own, so they had something in common to become fast friends.
This is very clearly a coming-of-age story. Every time Timothy has some kind of a life experience, he begins to lose leaves (which begin to change into fall colors). For those of you that aren’t typically a fan of coming-of-age type genres, don’t judge this film solely on that fact. This is clearly not your typical coming-of-age film. The boy grown as if he were a plant is a new element, so there are a few things that need to be considered before judging the film.
First of all, lets take a look at the message of the film. There are a lot of great messages that are covered. First of all, it gives hope to infertile parents everywhere that are crushed at that news they are given. It’s about the love of parents and how their support is important, especially if the parents grew up without it. It’s also very easy to tell this supports “green” friendly businesses and food choices. It’s main message though is that it is okay to be different, that a lot of good can come from acceptance. Clearly, it was a message of inspiration all around, but it was far from perfection. The attempt at a feel-good movie was a success, so where exactly did it fall short?
First of all, those messages truly are great, but they do feel overcrowded at times. At the same time, it was better that they had enough material than to be repetitive. Lets be real though…the leaves look stupid. The leaves themselves look real enough, but they look like they are simply taped or glued on, and their purpose…it makes sense, but the way they went about it was absolutely bonkers. There was a ton of other ways they could have done it to be more believable. The leaves weren’t the only thing that were unbelievable. The parents and towns reactions were all short-lived and not as shocked as you might imagine they would be. The boy has leaves on his leg, can someone please ask “Is this a joke? Because it looks like a joke”.
It’s true, the story wasn’t too terrible, but the kid unfortunately looks like he jumped right outside of a parody, it didn’t seem professional. Their heart was in the right place when they made it, and it really does feel inspirational, so I can’t say that part was terrible because it really wasn’t. The main issues that it held were that it wasn’t believable a lot of the times and the leaves looked like a lazy effort to make a point. It’s a love or hate film, guys. It depends on who you are and what you prefer, it has great positives and terrible negatives. Take that as you will.
“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Dec. 4