It’s supremely ironic when a movie that heavily relies on the visual machinery of trees and foliage turns out to be quite sappy.
Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” suffers from having a plot and premise so implausible that it fails to reserve human understanding. Harsh, yes, but keep in mind it is a film about a ten-year-old with leafy legs.
When Cindy and Jim Green, played by Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner, come to grips with not being able to conceive, they draw up a batch of notes about how perfect their imaginary progeny would be.
During that dark and stormy night (yes, really), the notes are placed into a box and buried and then, to the Green’s surprise, a ten-year-old, played by CJ Adams, appears at their front door the next morning.
The biggest problem is that this live action, sentimentally cliché flick runs for 90 minutes. With every foreseeable plot twist at each corner, the film quickly becomes forced and predictable.
This would’ve benefited greatly from being a 70-minute-long animation. A film centered on a child composed of vegetation would’ve been amazing if the witches and warlocks at Pixar or the masters at Studio Ghibli had gotten their hands on it first.
Sad as it sounds, 90 minutes and real people make it so hard to digest, and the film ends up feeling awkward.
The film’s cast seemed to be doing their very best to work with what had been given to them. Child actor CJ Adams made being a tree-child believable, plus he’s camera-friendly in a childish way not seen since 1944’s “National Velvet” that starred an adolescent Elizabeth Taylor.
In that vain, this film isn’t t without its charms. Couples and spouses in their late 20s and early 30s might be reassured by the fact that this piece of cinema proves that people can in fact make mistakes with a child and still be good parents.
When the sums of its parts are put together, this film, however pure of heart, can’t overcome a run time too long and being portrayed without a proper presentation medium.
With the film’s good nature and aforementioned cast aside, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” can’t quite charm its way into the realm of works similar to 1974’s “The Little Prince.” It feels like it should be up there with “A.I.” or “My Sister’s Keeper,” but the best it can muster is a charitable, honorable mention.