tek's rating:

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (PG), on Disney+
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This is based on a series of books I had never heard of, by Stephan Pastis, with whom I am somewhat familiar for his comic strip, "Pearls Before Swine". (I didn't know he had anything to do with this until after I watched it, but when I found out I wasn't surprised.) I found the movie somewhat amusing, and I liked some of the characters, but I didn't much care for Timmy himself, because he's so totally clueless and just plain wrong about so many things. I like that he doesn't want to be normal, and I like that he has a good imagination. But I just can't get past his wrongness, and how much trouble he causes. Also I dislike his innate distrust of Russians, especially his classmate Corrina. And his generally dismissive attitude toward a girl named Molly, who obviously likes him.

Anyway, Timmy Failure is a fifth-grader who fancies himself a hardboiled detective (complete with narrative voiceover). His partner is a polar bear named Total, who is almost certainly imaginary. (Once in the film there's an indication that a stranger sees Total, but thinks he's a dog, though no one else ever gives any indication of seeing him at all.) Timmy is supported by his single mother, Patty (Ophelia Lovibond, whom I know from Elementary, though throughout the film I thought she looked familiar, but I just couldn't place her until I looked online). She's pretty cool. He also has an exasperated teacher named Mr. Crocus (Wallace Shawn). And Timmy eventually gets sent to a counselor named Mr. Jenkins (Craig Robinson). And Patty is dating a parking enforcement officer named Crispin. And Timmy has a former employee of his "detective agency", a classmate called Rollo, who tries to help him out on his latest slew of cases despite having previously quit the agency. At first, Timmy is looking for a stolen backpack, which he completely misses his chance of finding. Then he believes his class hamster was murdered. Then his mom's Segway, which he uses without her permission, goes missing. I don't want to say how everything turns out, but I'm glad I finally watched the movie, two years after it came out. And I guess I kind of like how Timmy often says "Mistakes were made", even though he's generally unaware of just how many mistakes, nor does he often seem to take personal responsibility for them. At least it makes for a good title.

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