'Timothy Green' a good family film, but lacks emotional depth

By Shawn O'Neill

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 15 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

CJ Adams, left, and Odeya Rush in "The Odd Life Of Timothy Green."

Phil Bray, Disney

Enlarge photo»

Disney’s new film “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” explores what happens when you get what you wish for.

Cindy and Tom Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton) have a dream. Nothing wild or over the top; they would like to have a child. Biologically, this will not become a reality. As they reflect on their situation, Tom comes up with the idea to make a list of traits their child would have if they had one. After writing all of them down on little pieces of note paper, they gather them up and place them in a box and bury it in the garden.

Both of them are now ready to move on. Fate, however, has another road for them to follow as a storm beats down. Then they hear something moving around to different rooms of the house. They eventually go into the nursery and find Timothy (CJ Adams). Having come from the garden, he is covered in dirt. After cleaning him up they notice the leaves growing on his lower legs.

Tom and Cindy come to the realization that Timothy is meant for them. Now comes the hard part: explaining how they have a child who is around 11 years old living in their home. Plus, they don’t want him to be treated differently because he has leaves on his legs.

Both of them wonder if they have the skills to raise a child. They do their best with what they have and make some mistakes, but Timothy loves them and they love him. Timothy does have a secret, though, and it has to do with his leaves.

“The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is a good family film. It demonstrates how family members need to look out for each other and help when needed. It also deals with some of the realities of family life.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t go deep enough into the story to make a real emotional connection. There is emotion in the film but you won’t feel as connected to the characters as you would with something like “Brave.”

Still, it is a good film to teach children about acceptance of others. Some adults probably need that lesson, too.

“Timothy Green” is rated PG for some thematic elements, including bullying at school and at work, violence and death. All in all this film comes close to being in the G range of ratings. That is refreshing for a film made in this day and age.

Some people will look at this film and think it is too sweet and cute. It is a simple film and does lack an emotional connection, but it has a good story and a nice message for kids.

Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer on BYU Radio. His reviews can be heard on BYURadio.org and on SiriusXM Channel 143.

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