Director: Peter Hedges
Writers: Peter Hedges (screenplay), Ahmet Zappa (story)
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, C. J. Adams
I confess, I went to this film on opening night. The fantasy element sucked me in. Timothy Green is pleasant enough for a single escapist matinee.
Peter Hedges, who created the amazing Gilbert Grape was heavy-handed with his pen and ended up with a typical schmaltzy Disney family film. I admit, I cried, but I’m not sure I’d own the DVD or even watch it again on television. The fantasy was too obvious and sadly, so was the primary lesson of tolerance.
Here’s the summary in brief: When Cindy and Jim learn their dream of having children is done, they ease their pain by burying that dream in a cedar box in their garden.
There are some positive aspects of Timothy Green. The secondary lesson on handling grief actually worked. Conceiving a child is stressful on a relationship. Anyone who’s tried will tell you it takes the fun from intimacy. Many couples split up when fertility treatments don’t work. From the beginning, Jim and Cindy never thought of quitting each other when they realized they couldn’t have a child. They immediately created a positive solution to heal their grief together.
The best parts of the film were Timothy and the music. CJ Adams lit up the screen as Timothy. He was just the right amount of naiveté combined with sagacity. He’s definitely an actor I will be watching for in the future.
The end song, “The Gift” by Glen Hansard, is one of the loveliest and most fitting closers I’ve heard in a long time. I went home and bought the song on iTunes.
Fortunately for families who are searching for kid-friendly fare, this is one Disney film that won’t send your young children running. I’d still recommend Timothy Green for audiences over seven because the youngest kids needed a bit of explanation, but they’re not going to be traumatized by seeing Bambi’s mother killed, either.
Rebecca McFarland Kyle