What sets this fairly standard story (a childless couple trying to have a child) apart is that this telling is really about the couple, not about the viewer. It doesn’t judge anyone for whether they want kids or not, it simply presents a couple that want to share their love with a child together. So often these stories become accusatory or assumptive statements that if you don’t have children, you can’t be fulfilled or that you are somehow failing or weird.
The subtle, but important, accomplishment is achieved by being incredibly honest, even amid the cliched treacle that is inevitable from a Disney production. Garner (Arthur, The Invention of Lying) and Edgerton (Legend of the Guardians, Kinky Boots) are imperfect people and parents. Their extended family is fairly messed up. Their issues are all focused on themselves, but very much from the point of view that they really wanted a child together, not that they needed the child to be fulfilled. The opening sequences, prior to Timothy’s arrival, are all important for establishing these ideas.
In addition to the adult talent that pervades the movie, the young boy playing Timothy (CJ Adams) has an incredible quality about him that reminded me of a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His sidekick (Odeya Rush) is equally talented and magnetic. Expect to see both more often. They work incredibly well and believably together.
The deleted scenes were interesting… the direction of the movie was very different at one time–and the removal of a few scenes (one of which is hysterical) very much changes the whole.
For a sweet evening with few big surprises, but a less traveled path to getting where you expect to be, this is a satisfying way to spend a couple hours.