Terri – Siff 2011 Movie Review

Terri [ USA (English), 2011, 105 minutes ]
Director: Azazel Jacobs
Principal Cast: Jacob Wysocki, Creed Bratton, Olivia Crocicchia, Bridger Zadina, John C. Reilly
See it: June 4, 5 at SIFF

Terri is somewhat of an outcast at his school – he is overweight and shy, and it doesn’t help that he has started wearing pajamas to school “because they just feel comfortable on me”. He lives with his ailing uncle, who is unable to provide much more than a roof over their heads and intermittent conversation during his more lucid moments. Terri is definitely a loner and seems unhappy, and his Vice Principal, Mr. Fitzgerald, attempts to intervene by setting up weekly meetings for the two of them to hang out and talk. These meetings provide Terri some comfort, but are also a source of anxiety and frustration as he discovers that he’s not the only student to be singled out for meetings with Fitz.

This film follows Terri as he trudges day-by-day through his depressing existence: setting mousetraps, eating beans on toast, caring for his uncle, and accumulating tardies at school. There are some fantastically funny moments, mostly delivered by Mr. Fitzgerald (played by the ever-funny John C. Reilly), as he tries to identify with his students and teach them about life. There are also some scenes that attempt to show the vulnerability and challenges of being isolated in high school and trying to make friends, but so many of them extend much longer than necessary, which lessens the impact significantly and takes away from the ultimate enjoyment of the film.

Overall Entertainment / Enjoyment: B-
I mainly wanted to see this movie for John C. Reilly’s comedy, and there was no disappointment there, except for perhaps wanting even a little more. I did enjoy watching Terri’s interactions with Chad (another troubled student) and Vice Principal Fitzgerald, but the drawn out filming and lack of character growth throughout the movie left me unsatisfied.

Film Festivalness: B-
Another almost great film that made it’s way into a festival, but it lacks focus for what it really wants to be: good comedy, touching drama, coming-of-age story? A lot of the pieces are there, but just because you’re making a small independent movie doesn’t mean you get to through away the editing. Tighten up the story and shave it down by 10-20 minutes, and this could have been a contender.


Provided Film Synopsis

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

  • Cast Members:

    • Bridger Zadina
    • Creed Bratton
    • Jacob Wysocki
    • John C. Reilly
    • Olivia Crocicchia
  • Countries:

  • Languages:

  • Genres: