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Review: Terri

Subtle, sweet, and eccentric
By GERALD PEARY  |  July 12, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

He's gawky, obese, and neither charming nor funny, so why would we want to spend a whole movie with Terri (Jacob Wysocki), an unpopular high-schooler who annoys the teachers with his lateness and lethargy? Credit indie director Azazel Jacobs for building a case for Terri, so that — without manipulation or sentimentality — we begin to appreciate the clumsy lad at the same time that he starts to shed his self-loathing. Maybe the respect begins with our enjoyment of Terri's wardrobe, a different pair of pajamas for every day of class. And we are warmed by Terri's weird friendship with his school's deeply out-to-lunch assistant principal (a superbly fruitcake John C. Reilly). Finally, Jacobs and co-screenwriter Patrick Dewitt manage the impossible, getting Terri involved, sort of, with the perkiest girl at school (Olivia Crocicchia). Terri is subtle, sweet, and eccentric, and marks Jacobs, who earlier succeeded with Mama's Man (2008), as an independent filmmaker of formidable talent.

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