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Odd Life of Timothy Green, The (AF)


Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, C.J. Adams, Shoreh Ashdashloo, Rosemarie DeWitt, Common, Odeya Rush, M. Emmet Walsh, David Morse

Director: Peter Hedges

“We don’t care whether you believe us”, states Jennifer Garner while she addresses an official board, hoping to be given permission to adopt a child.

I should apologise to Ms Garner (and to director-screenwriter Peter Hedges who, in turn, can blame producer Ahmet Zappa who came up with the story) but I didn’t believe much of this super twee, sugar-saturated fable, which Disney would have been far better advised use it as a forgettable filler on their television channels rather than to inflict it on paying cinemagoers.

Garber and Joel Edgerton play a couple who finally realise they can never have a family and celebrate their realization by burying a box in the garden that contains a list of everything they would have liked in an offspring. Amazingly, after a storm that appears to concentrate on their home, cute-as-a-cliché youngster arises from the earth and, covered in mud, shows up on their doorstep and, calling them ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, instantly becomes their son, played with an overdose of charm by C J Adams. He’s the perfect all-American kid – except for the leaves that grow on his legs…

Whimsy runs riot in what follows as CJ proves to be the perfect child. But, like so many living things that bear leaves, there are thorns to be encountered…

The setting, a small town celebrated as ‘The Pencil Capital of the World’ is, relentlessly nice, the ensuing story even more so. If you like relentless saccharine-soaked quaintness or need to shelter from the rain, The Odd Life of Timothy Green might just fit the bill. Very undemanding kids will probably tolerate the unremitting tweeness, accompanying adults should take a strong soporific. Any ensuing dreams are almost certain to be more entertaining.

Alan Frank

USA 2012. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Colour.
104 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Apr 2013