Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Odd Life of Timothy Green - Movie Review

I was fortunate enough to go to an advanced screening of the new Disney film The Odd Life of Timothy Green. While there’s no greater joy for me than to see a film before its official release, this screening was a bit chaotic.

The first clue that I was going to have my work cut out for me, was a late afternoon email informing me that the revenue had changed. The new theater was only blocks away from the original so no biggie there. I had to take BART (our subway system) from the burbs into San Francisco right after work. The screening wasn’t until 7:30pm though so I wasn’t worried. I arrived downtown by 6pm, grabbed a quick bite and walked around a little to enjoy the nice SF breeze. I had just left 105 degrees, so the cool off was much needed. I also used the restroom at Bloomies before heading upstairs to the theater at 6:30pm.

Well it was a madhouse. The line wrapped all the way around in to an un-air-conditioned corridor and there was another large group of people in their own line who were on a special invite list. After standing for awhile, I began talking to the people around me. Some people had hand stamps, I did not. Then I realized some people’s passes said the theater we were at. So now I’m thinking they scheduled two screenings and one was cancelled. That’s why there were so many people. I seriously considered leaving, but I didn’t have anything else to do now, so I thought I’d chance it. I was one of the very last people admitted! I guess a sign of the times, I had to open my backpack and I was swiped with a metal detector. I found a seat in the third row, which I knew me and my neck would pay for later, but I accomplished my goal.

The movie was very sweet and definitely buoyed by the actors. Not everyone could pull this unbelievable tale off. It all came together though, solid story and a great performance by CJ Adams in the title role. This kid could have easily been annoying or sickly sweet, but he wasn’t. He balanced the performance well and you felt like you too would like this kid.

The always adorable Jennifer Garner is a new Mom you’re happy to root for. You quickly feel her pain when the film opens and we see Cindy (Garner) and Jim (Joel Edgarton) being told by their physician that becoming pregnant is never going to happen for them. You can tell it’s been a long road for these two and they’re willing to accept their fate, but they spend one last night “dreaming” about what their child would have been like. When the child actually materializes, they are of course dumbstruck, yet quickly aware that their dream is coming true right before their eyes.

Young Timothy is sweet, easy-going kid who takes life in stride. He touches the people he meets mostly because of his sheer joy of life, love and the world around him.

The film is adapted from a story idea by Ahmet Zappa and written and directed by Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life). It’s more a film about learning how to be a parent and how no one feels they are ever getting it right.

I laughed a lot during this film. I’m a hard sell on these cute types of stories, so I would not be at all surprised if this one gets eaten up in the review. However, I bought in to Timothy’s charming story. Once in awhile it’s nice to see a film that is tender and kind and teaches good lessons and is as opposite from Ted as you can get. But, remember, I really liked that too!

Lastly, if you’ve seen the previews or the poster you know Timothy wears long socks all the time. Disney partnered with Hanes and asked people on their tickets to bring a pair of socks to donate when attending the film. Since I was doing back-to-school shopping anyway, I picked up a whole pack. I never saw where to put my socks! I carried them around all night and had to take them home. I didn’t see anyone else with socks. It was printed right on the ticket! I bought a smaller size than my kids wear so I’ll have to see if maybe my local theater is collecting them. All in all, a poorly organized screening. I don’t blame the theater though, it really seemed like some last minute things happened and the staff did well handling the chaos. I did witness quite a few people in the lobby complaining. Somehow, there still managed to be empty seats even though people were turned away and the film started 15 minutes late. I always wanted to be a regular at pre-screenings, but I’m beginning to second guess that idea.


Kristiina said...

I've never gone to a preview, lucky!

Dan O. said...

Even though there isn’t anything really special behind this story that you haven’t seen before, it’s still a nice and enjoyable family-oriented flick that will teach kids that it’s ok to be weird. Just always stay true to yourself no matter what. Good review Colleen.