2012-08-15

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green – A Touching, Sincere, And Very

by Yo Snyder

Once upon a time…The Odd Life of Timothy Green doesn’t start
with those four familiar words, but it might as well of have. This is a
very much a modern fairy tale. It’s a magical, moving journey that
explores the importance of being a parent, that celebrates the love one
finds in family, and reminds us to make the most of the time we have
while we’re here. It’s a beautiful, touching, sincere, heartfelt movie
that’s also one of those true rarities in Hollywood today, it’s a “nice”
movie. No gritty, edgy darkness here, just a straight-forward story
that’s truly a movie for the whole family. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
is a movie that may surprise you but will also delight you and will
definitely move you. It’s a movie that would be easy to miss, but now
that you’ve read this, you know not to do that. Still, if you’d like
some more reasons why not to miss it, by all means read on.

The
success of a movie like this rest squarely on the shoulders of the cast.
If we don’t buy in to their characters, then we won’t buy in to what
the movie is about. Fortunately, the cast carries this film with aplomb.
Jennifer Garner as Cindy Green is beautiful in every sense of the word
in this movie. She deftly portrays the complex emotions of a
want-to-be-mom who’s denied that opportunity, only to have her desire
fulfilled in other, far more unexpected ways. Plus, her relationship
with Joel Edgerton as Jim Green is sweet and heartwarming; a portrayal
of marriage where a mature love is alive and thriving. I know some
cynics will think this portrayal of such an idyllic and happy marriage
is far too saccharine and frankly outdated in our “forward-thinking”,
modern world. However, I think it’s an accurate portrayal of what
marriage can and should be, and in some cases (I’m fortunate enough to
be among those) actually is. Yes marriage can be a joy and a delight;
warm and close and filled with a lasting love. There are hard moments,
there are heart-breaking moments, but marriage can withstand those and
still be full of fun, joy and love come-what-may, and it’s nice to see a
movie portray just that. Then there’s CJ Adams who plays the title
character. He reminds me a bit of a young Haley Joel Osment. He plays
Timothy Green pitch perfect with just the right amount of mystery,
curiosity, wonder, kindness and sincerity.  Again, this movie just
wouldn’t have worked without the right kid, but fortunately that wasn’t a
problem for this movie. 

Throughout the movie, Timothy Green
touches the lives of everyone around him in unique and special ways.
Part of this is due to the fact that he’s very acutely aware of one
important thing; we all have only so much time, therefore we must make
the most of the time given us. We all have gifts to share; gifts of
kindness, of encouragement, of friendship, of comfort, of generosity, of
laughter of truth and on and on. We also have many unique opportunities
to share those gifts, but we need to seize the moments we’re given
because we can’t be sure they’ll ever come again. Unlike Timothy Green,
most of us don’t know exactly how much time we have, we don’t know if
we’ll get another chance or another tomorrow, which makes it all more
important for us to share the gifts we have every moment we get.

That’s
also why God is so eager for people to receive the gift he has to
share. God gave us a gift beyond measure when his son, Jesus Christ,
died on a cross. He died in our place, paying the price for our sins and
failures because there isn’t anything we can do to ever fully pay that
debt. He did this because God loves us. The death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ, the forgiveness, redemption, salvation and eternal life
that is ours through that act, is God’s great gift to us. However, gifts
have to be received and they have to be opened before they can be
enjoyed; and that’s entirely up to us. I know some feel that God can be a
bit persistent in his constant urging to accept the gift that is ours
through Jesus Christ, but that’s because he knows very well that all of
us only have so much time. No one’s guaranteed a tomorrow, we don’t know
if we have the option of doing it “some other time”. That’s why we’re
told, “…now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
(2 Corinthians 6:2) We don’t know if we have a later, but we do have a
now; the question is, what will we do with this now?

There’s also
only so much time to go out and support a movie like this. I often hear
complaints about how most movies today are all about the action and the
spectacle, how they’re often depressing and cynical, how they’re too
often hard-edged, violent, gritty, and grim (plenty more of that coming
with Expendables 2). In short, Hollywood doesn’t make many “nice” movies anymore; the kind that make you feel good at the end of it. Well, The Odd Life of Timothy Green
is exactly that kind of movie. It’s not perfect, there are some
subplots that aren’t as fully developed as they could be, and a few
glaring holes in the plot, but on the whole it’s that rare type of
“nice” movie that the whole family can enjoy together and one that will
make them feel good. It’s a simple, sincere, heartfelt fairy tale told
without resorting to tricks or gimmicks to keep the audience’s
attention. It touches on an important subject; family and the importance
of loving, if imperfect, parents. It’s sweet and touching, you will
probably need some tissues, without ever becoming too schmaltzy or
melodramatic. Hollywood is a business, and if there aren’t more movies
like this being made, it’s because people aren’t spending money on them.
So if you want more movies like this, more movies that are just “nice”,
then spend money on it. 

I know I’ve been fairly vague on a lot of the specifics about The Odd Life of Timothy Green,
but that’s because it’s just such a delight to experience I don’t want
to give too much away. There aren’t really any big twists or surprises
to spoil, but sometimes there’s a simple joy to be had going into movie
not knowing much of what to expect. This is a straightforward and
emotional narrative, a modern fairy tale, but it’s one that’s a delight
to experience. Truly, just go see it.

Score: 6 of 7