I stumbled upon this film, having heard nothing about it - no adverts, trailers - nothing. Its quite a new film - 2012, and stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton.
It starts with the couple being told that they can not have children of their own. You know from the very start that this is going to be emotional, but rather than being a maudlin weepy, its a beautiful tale of hope and joy and the bonds between families.
Distraught, the couple console one another by dreaming up how their child would have been. They write it down, acting out how amazing that child would be and who that child would be. They then place it in a box, and they bury it along with their hopes.
That night, a ferocious rain storm batters the house,and they are startled to find a ten year old boy covered in mud in their home. He announces his name is Timothy Green. They also notice that the box is smashed open and there is a muddy hole. Oddly, they notice Timothy has leaves growing on his legs - gorgeous healthy green ones. They slowly realise that he is their child, the one they created on paper and buried.
Timothy becomes part of the family, and makes friend with a girl who he grows close to. He doesn't tell his parents that his leaves are starting to fall, but continues to fulfil their hopes. The relationships between the family are delicately interwoven and this is a moving film with Timothy at the centre.
He gives his parents an idea for a new type of pencil, in the hopes of keeping the business going in tough times. A sneaky colleage however tries to steal the idea, and only then does the story of Timothy and his leaves become out in the open.
Timothy then has to tell his parents that his leaves have fallen and that he will have to leave them very soon. Understandably upset, Timothy leaves them. They have learned that mistakes will be made, and that the beauty is to learn from then.
They relay their tale to the adoption agency, who initially, understandably, is unconvinced. When their time is up, she allows them to finish their tale despite this. So moving is the tale, and Garner is such a lovely actress, that they are rewarded in the end when they are approved and given a little girl to parent.
Yes, this film is typical Disney in that it is very emotional, a little cloying at times, and probably won't appeal to everyone. But for me, it was perfect watching for a Sunday afternoon and made me more than a little bit warm and fuzzy at the end. Definitely worth a watch if you are the emotional type such as me.