Film review: ‘Terri’
Wed, Aug 24, 2011 (5:52 p.m.)
When teenage misfit Terri (Jacob Wysocki), an overweight high schooler who wears pajamas all the time and lives with his ailing uncle (Creed Bratton), starts to bond with his goofy principal Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), you may be rightly concerned that an inspirational-teacher drama is about to form. But director Azazel Jacobs has something different in mind for Terri, and although Terri and Mr. Fitzgerald do form a positive relationship, it’s one based on their mutual insecurities and awkwardness more than any kind of uplifting mentorship. Jacobs and screenwriter Patrick Dewitt have a great sense of the confused and often contradictory way in which teenagers communicate, and Jacobs deftly mixes dark humor with moments of profundity that often take you by surprise. Wysocki and Reilly have a wonderful off-kilter chemistry, and even if Mr. Fitzgerald isn’t quite inspirational, the movie, in all its painfully funny honesty, absolutely is.