Usually when your cheese is green, it’s a bad thing.
But not here!
Disney! You dastardly rich bastards. Not only are you doing the right thing by letting Marvel spill awesome sauce all over cinemas; you’re also destroying the “Hallmark” film genre!
This week I sat down for something I was afraid was going to make me gassy and have sharts all night. For those of the uninformed variety, a shart is a hard fart. I’ll be honest: I didn’t think much of The Odd Life of Timothy Green before the projector was turned on. I expected to have two hours and 5 minutes of cheesy acting, stories and Jennifer Garner‘s sharp chin and big ears thrown at my eye balls. I was right on one of those assumptions. I bet Ben Affleck hide’s fantastic his scripts behind those things for safe keeping.
This fantasy flick, is co-written and directed by Peter Hedges, the same dude who gave us Dan in Real Life and About a Boy. So you’d expect this film to instill great life lessons routed in Christian morals.
I’m surprised I didn’t just burst into flames typing that sentence. But I am suddenly hot. Very hot.
Alrighty! The Odd Life of Timothy Green stars, Jennifer “I won’t let my husband Ben hang out with Kevin Smith Anymore” Garner, Joel “I’ve played an owl” Edgerton, David “Evil Cop from House” Morse and CJ “LOOK AT MY EYES THEY ARE A PORTAL TO ANOTHER DIMENSION Adams.
This flick follows a couple Cindy (Garner) and Jim (Edgerton) Green, living in the small town of Stanelyville, which is known for pencil making. Cindy and Jim are unable to conceive a child, so they turn to an adoption agency. While there they recant a story to prove that they are fit parents. Wild and fantastic the story involves them, drunkenly writing down all the traits and characteristics of their imaginary child. They then bury these traits in a wooden box in the backyard. Magically, during a drought they have a hard rainstorm and something sprouts from the garden. A boy. With leaves on his legs. This little boy then helps the couple and the town turn a new leaf. (Editor’s note: Yes. I just did that. Now join me in quickly drinking a half bottle of rum to help forget about the whorish thing I just did, and the fat guy you likely slept with last night.)
– The pacing! Again and again I mention this stuff in my reviews, but it’s true. The way a flick is edited will either make it or break it. Andrew Mondshein, who also edited The Sixth Sense did a great job at keeping the story alive here. Just when it starts getting a little to “after school special” he kicks it into a different gear to keep it fresh.
– The kids! CJ Adams has eyes more expressive than Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. It never felt like they had to quickly turn on a camera after someone had to say something emotional to the kid to keep him in character. This little squirt has IT! If you were ever to remake Stand By Me, I’d wait a little longer and put this kid in it. Damn! Also pulling her weight is Odeya Rush. Sure she’s a little older than CJ, but she took what could have been something creepy in theory and made it wholehearted and touching. But not touching in a Michael Jackson way. Nope. She did it like Mother Teresa, with a banana seat bike.
What didn’t work:
– Some of the acting. This might be a semi-spoiler. But there is a scene when our main couple discovers Adam’s character of Timothy is actually what sprouted from their hopes and wishes. THERE’S NO SCREAMING! They played it like that kid who wanted a Nintendo 64 for Christmas, but his parents didn’t know that there was a difference between that and a Playstation, so they bought him that. And that kid was too polite to tell them that they had just ruined his childhood so he tried to act surprised and happy, but really deep down inside he was plotting his revenge. Yeah they looked like that. Now I have been known for my sailor like vocabulary, but I think letting off a “Holy crap nuggets, Batman” could have been appropriate for this Disney flick.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green often plays on the dangerous line between Hallmarky and Cheesy. It does however lunge itself into the heartwarming end-zone of heartwarming. (I know the footballs.) If you dislike Jenn Garner as much as I do; this might not be the flick for you. If you’re a guy; this might not be the flick for you. If you’re unable to suspend your disbelieve; this might not be the flick for you. However, If you’re looking for a good first date flick, this might be a good one.