The Odd Life of Timothy Green was released to theaters a few weeks ago, but I’m just getting around to seeing it today. I have to admit that before seeing this film, I had read other reviews of it. The majority of the professional reviews were negative and the amateur reviews were mostly lukewarm, so going into this film without any preconceived expectations was difficult. I’m not sure that I succeeded.
The plot is pretty straightforward. An infertile couple, as part of their process of moving on with their lives, spends a night writing down all the qualities they would have wanted in their child. They put these slips of paper in a wooden box and then bury the box in their rear garden. A magical thunderstorm appears, drenching the earth in magic rain and, presto! There’s Timothy, an affable young boy with leaves growing out of his ankles.
The most popular complaint regarding this movie is that it is saccharine and thinly scripted. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a Disney movie aimed at a family audience. What on Earth were you expecting? Shakespeare? Quintin Tarantino? Stanley-freaking-Kubrick?
This Odd Life of Timothy Green is the cinematic equivalent of macaroni-and-cheese. It’s like comfort food. It’s the sort of movie someone’s grandparent would take them to see as a nice outing when its raining outside.
Is the plot predictable? Oh yes. Definitely. Every adult in the audience and older kids will know what’s going to happen. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Is the movie saccharine? Yes. Again, it’s a Disney movie! What? You were expecting Reservoir Dogs?
Would I recommend this movie to people? It depends.
If you have older elementary school kids and you’re looking for a movie to take them to see, then I’d give The Odd Life of Timothy Green a 4 out of 10 on my Media Scale of Movie Love. Catch the matinee, but don’t pay full price.
Otherwise, I’d give it a 2 out of 10 on my Media Scale of Movie Love. Wait for it to come out on cable, if you want to see it at all. Even then, you'll probably wind up channel surfing in the first fifteen minutes.