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'Odd Life Of Timothy Green' Pushes Too Hard

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A new movie in theaters today is titled "The Odd Life of Timothy Green." And film critic, Kenneth Turan, found the movie, itself, odd.

KENNETH TURAN: "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" is a when you wish upon a star fable in the old school Disney style. It's just the kind of inspirational family-friendly comfort food it feels churlish to rebuff. But though the film's heart is pure, its execution is so cloying and contrived it brings on tears of frustration.

"Odd Life's" underlying premise is that if you wish hard enough, miracles will happen.

The Greens, played by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton, wish for a child.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN")

TURAN: The Greens write these traits down on pieces of paper that are buried in the family garden. A freak thunderstorm dumps a ton of rain on the site, and before you known it, 10-year-old Timothy, covered in dirt, comes out of the garden and into their lives.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN")

TURAN: He looks like any other boy, except for the leaves around his ankles.

Though it's grounded in fantasy, "Odd Life" is really about the Greens' drive to be the best parents ever. So they over-protectively over parent Timothy like crazy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN")

TURAN: Watching helicopter parents in a movie is just as boring as it is in real life. It's not only the Greens who push too hard as parents, this entire film pushes too hard to make us love it.

The problem with "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" is not the oddness of Timothy's entry into the world, but how calculated this movie becomes once he arrives. Wishing upon a star may have been enough to make a good movie once upon a time, but not anymore.

MONTAGNE: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Of course, one question Hollywood faced in recent weeks, was whether moviegoers would be out in full force or home following the drama at the Olympics.

Well, Variety reports "The Bourne Legacy" earned less than expected on opening weekend because people were watching Sunday's closing ceremony in London.

The latest Bourne movie took in just over $38 million. That was two million less than initially expected, so blame the Olympics - or was it no Matt Damon?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.