Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Have you seen this movie? If you answer "no" to that question, get yourself to a theater. (Do you know that I always spell it "theater" when I am referring to a movie house and "theatre" when I am referring to a place where one sees a play? I know. If you die today you'll rest better knowing that piece of information.)

We received free tickets to a screening of the film and we got to take the boys last week, several days before it opened. The pre-screening was arranged by the UAC (Utah Adoption Council) and our transracial adoption group told me about it. The theater was filled with adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth mothers. Before the screening they asked people to raise their hands if they'd added to their family through adoption. So many hands went up. Then they asked people to raise their hands if they were adopted. I lifted Matthew's hand up into the air and he held it there, looked around at all the other hands, and smiled. I don't know if he had a clue what was going on but it was a really neat moment. Then someone had to go and ruin it by screaming, "LET'S HEAR IT FOR ADOPTION!" in this ridiculously cheesy fashion. 

In the film, the Green's have been told that they cannot have biological children. Jennifer Garner did it in Juno and she did it in The Odd Life of Timothy Green. She completely nailed a heartbroken infertile woman. I know it's called acting. I studied it in college. But it still surprises me when someone who was pregnant when she got married can play a barren woman so well. I just kind of figure that she never struggled with infertility. I don't know, we're not BFF so who am I to make assumptions like that. But, not only that, she was also pregnant with her son while she was filming The Odd Life of Timothy Green. So, you know, all I'm saying is that she plays barren with heart wrenching conviction whilst apparently being, herself, the land of milk and honey.

The couple buries all their hopes and dreams for a child in a box in their garden. And that's when the crazy starts to happen. Timothy grows up out of the garden and smashes their lives wide open with his wit, his charm, and his leaf legs. It sounds weird. I know it does. But you're just going to have to go with it. And go see it. Because, in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, you find a movie that is humorous and captivating for adults but you also find a movie that held the attention of my six-year-old and my three-year-old.

In retrospect, it may have been slightly over Matthew's head. He clearly identified with the theme of adoption which was good but, when the movie was over, he kept telling us that he came out of our garden. No amount of trying to explain the film to him could convince him that he did not, actually, grow out of the ground. Thankfully he only talked incessantly about this for a day and hasn't mentioned it since.

Sure, you have to suspend your disbelief that a kid could come out of a garden but it's easy to do because Timothy's parents are hysterically trying to figure it out for themselves. Beyond that, this is an incredible film about building a family and navigating the hopes and dreams that we have for our children.

Really. Go see it. Now.

This screenshot comes from a hysterical scene. It's Timothy's first day of school and Jennifer Garner's character is all crazylike and she's totally weighed the kid down with all manner of school supplies. She's super nervous for him but Timothy just trots off to class. Jim yells after him, "Have a great day!" and Cindy quickly interjects, "That's too much pressure!" to which Jim quips, "Have the day you have!"
So Troy and I have decided to start telling people to have the day they have. That way we take into account all the unforeseen issues that could crop up and make a day really great or really horrid.

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner are phenomenal and CJ Adams steals the show as the adorable Timothy. I am so glad that we got the (free!) opportunity to see this movie!

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