I can’t remember the last time all three of my daughters sat still in a movie theater and watched the entire film from start to finish without so much as a peep out of them or a climb on my lap or a complaint of hunger or asking me where the bathroom is. The film ended and we all just kind of sat there, lost in our thoughts, looking at each other and marveling that we all just shared the intense love of a movie.
The movie was “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and it was stupendous. But let me backtrack a bit…
It’s not easy finding current movies that our entire family enjoys. My girls are 7, 9 and 12 which doesn’t often lead to any kind of agreement in what movies they want to see. The younger one likes animated films, the older likes more teenage angst films. Add to the mix myself and my husband and we end up watching kids movies or action movies and none of them really make all of us happy.
I am lucky enough to be on the Disney list of bloggers who get invited to movie previews. I’m also lucky enough to live not too far from Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. When the invite for Timothy crossed my path I thought it would be fun to take the entire family, but I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was a sweet little movie about a boy who came from a garden. I was completely unprepared for the dramatic, funny, touching, emotional story that I ended up experiencing.
What happens when a happily married couple exhausts every option there is to have a baby? What happens when the need to be a parent is so strong that everything else in your life becomes secondary? A huge fan of Jennifer Garner from her Alias days, I can pretty much guarantee that I will love her in any movie she does. In this one, she did not disappoint. Playing Cindy Green, Jennifer had the right amount of emotion and humor to cut to the core of a woman desperate for a child. As a parent, I totally understand the need to love and nurture another human being. It’s strong, it’s primal, it’s the kind of feeling that washes over you and overcomes any other feeling you may have. As her husband, Jim Green, Joel Edgerton is the perfect companion. He matches Cindy emotion for emotion in the desire to be a father and the need to compensate for the things he thought he missed with his own father as he was growing up.
Here’s a little secret… my daughter Lauryn has a mad crush on CJ Adams, the boy who stars as Timothy. Yes, he’s absolutely adorable. Yes, he’s a wonderful little actor. Yes, he will be the kind of kid who we will be seeing a lot more from. What struck me as I was watching the movie was how effortless it all was. The emotions were real, sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking. We all could relate. We’ve all experienced family drama, bullying, friendships and loss. The circle of life happens whether you want it to or not… and it’s short. Very short.
The big take-away for me from the movie was the thought that while we always think that we get the children who need us the most… maybe what really happens is that our children get the parents they need the most. “I’ve come to believe that our children don’t belong to us, but that we belong to them.” -Peter Hedges
As we were walking back to our car, Lauryn found something lying in the grass. It was a leaf. One little leaf. She brought it home and put it in a special box. Want to know why? Go see the movie. And one more thing… bring tissues.