inoffensive Frankenkid; you’ve seen worse (The Odd Life of Timothy Green review)
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
“I came from the garden.” And so he did, odd little Timothy Green (CJ Adams: Dan in Real Life), the product of a magical thunderstorm and the thwarted hopes and dreams of his newly adoptive parents, Cindy (Jennifer Garner: Arthur) and Jim (Joel Edgerton: Zero Dark Thirty). Literally sprang from the soil, the adorable tyke did, sprouted from a box of buried tokens representing Cindy and Jim’s grieving for the biological child they’ve learned they can never have. Clearly intended to call to mind Disney’s family fantasies of the 1950s and 60s, Timothy’s magic is as modest as can be, and its aim is a bit off: it’s not intended for kids who might appreciate the strange boy’s kooky oddball goofiness but appears more targeted at couples who don’t see adopting as a viable alternative to natural parenthood and who worry about having a child who doesn’t properly conform to socially acceptable norms. (Cindy and Jim will gently learn their errors in these areas.) Written and directed by Peter Hedges — who’s done much better; I adore his Dan in Real Life, which is far more realistically bittersweet — this crams a lot of life passages into too busy a tale and is overall too emotionally simplistic, and yet I couldn’t help but be oh-so mildly charmed by Adams’ cute clumsiness and the simple appeal of the hugely likable Garner and Edgerton. If you don’t guess precisely where the story is going from the opening moments, you’ve likely never seen a movie before. For everyone else, this is undemanding, inoffensive, and instantly forgettable.