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Movie Review

Terri

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Terri
"Terri" is the coming-of-age story of a plus-size high school outcast. The plot may sound familiar, but, unlike other films of this nature, the main character appears unaffected by name-calling or criticism. He continually wears pajamas to school, despite the constant disdain from his peers. Terri doesn't try to fit in, because he has other worries on his mind, like his caretaker uncle who appears to be suffering from depression and memory loss, Terri's newfound curiosity in feeding dead rats from his attic to birds in the wild, and a principal whose motives for helping him are unclear.

The acting is solid in every scene. Jacob Wysocki, a standout in ABC Family's too-quickly canceled series "Huge," is fantastic. He plays Terri as a smart and sweet observer who doesn't appear to want anything except to be "comfortable." His scenes with John C. Reilly's kooky and sympathetic principal Mr. Fitzgerald provide most of the laughs in the film. Creed Bratton, who plays Terri's ailing uncle, gives a surprisingly subtle, honest, and emotional performance that never goes over the top. The scenes between his character and Terri are touching and will ring true to anyone who has dealt with a mentally ill family member.

The film is somewhat melancholy until the third act. When high school hot girl Heather, played poignantly by Olivia Crocicchia, becomes an outcast, she and Terri form an unlikely friendship. One night, thanks to another outcast's meddling and a bit of alcohol, their scars and insecurities are exposed to each other in a dark scene that is almost too uncomfortable to watch. But writer Patrick Dewitt and director Azazel Jacobs never allow the scene to ultimately pay off. There seems to be no point to the scene, except to make the viewer feel even worse for these characters.

Thankfully, the film leaves one feeling uplifted. The viewer is reminded how "it gets better" after high school for all of the outcasts—which hopefully includes Terri.

Genre: Comedy
Written by: Patrick Dewitt
Directed by: Azazel Jacobs
Starring: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton.

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