I managed to sneak out of the house for a couple of hours last weekend (Joey watched K) to go see The Odd Life of Timothy Green with two of my girlfriends. I met both ladies through RESOLVE (all three of us are volunteers with the support group here in Central Florida). So if there was ever a group of friends with enough infertility and adoption experience to critique a film about infertility and adoption, we were it.
I loved watching this movie, even more than I loved reading about it. I loved the way that it realistically portrayed the emotions that couples go through when dealing with their fate. First the sadness, then the anger, and then the denial. Jennifer Garner did an amazing job at capturing exactly how many of us react to such devastating news. And Joel Edgerton did an equally great job of showing how men often respond to the same situation - expressing the desire to make things fixable when they simply cannot be fixed.
I loved the way that it realistically portrayed the emotions that couples go through after a child suddenly enters their lives. How life doesn't suddenly become perfect. How there is a learning curve to parenthood. How people make mistakes. Every time they faced a difficult situation with their child, it reminded me of this post and how, despite feeling grateful for becoming a parent, it doesn't mean that everything comes easily or there aren't difficult days.
I loved the way that it showed the stereotypes about adoption in a negative light. Throughout the film, one of the adult characters made remarks about Timothy's behavior and related them to the fact that he is an older "adopted" child. While the film doesn't address these statements outright, it paints this person in a negative light and paints Timothy in a positive one - showing, through actions, that older adopted children are no different than other children their age.
But mostly, I loved the way that it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. I won't ruin the ending, but it was bittersweet. It didn't come without loss or sadness - much like infertility and adoption. Things don't fall together like you expect or want them to, but they fall together as they should.
The movie isn't factually correct as far as the adoption process is concerned, but overall, I thought it nailed down the emotions that come with both infertility and adoption well. My only recommendation - if you choose to see it - is to bring your tissues. You'll definitely need them. It might be a Disney movie, but it still hits close to home for so many of us.