Terri (Jacob Wysocki) is fat. Beyond chubby, he’s
actually obese. He wears pyjamas to high school in Anytown, USA, ‘for
comfort’. He lives with his seemingly dying uncle, whose mood swings
daily; he is predictably withdrawn and sensitive. Facing aggressive
classmates and an indifferent teacher, he becomes the focus of the
principal, Mr Fitzgerald (John C Reilly is always good). They schedule
weekly meetings to stay abreast of Terri’s truancy.
Terri soon discovers he is in a select corps of
‘defective’ students, who come with either wheelchairs or nasty,
peculiar habits. One such is Chad (Bridger Zadina), who for some reason
yanks his hair out, strand by strand. The two guys end up getting along.
Complicating things, however, is Terri’s witnessing of a highly
inappropriate act involving a boy and the most attractive girl on
campus, Heather (Olivia Crocicchia).
Having an understandable crush on her, Terri intervenes
with Mr Fitzgerald to halt her expulsion from school. A sense of
gratitude (among many complex feelings) eventually leads her to his
peculiar, vaguely creepy house. Hearing of some ‘pussy’, Chad is on the
way too and it’s not long before the most awkward group of three high
school students is assembled under the roof of a wheezing, moribund
What ensues is vulnerable teenage angst, acted out with
some unexpected and some predictable consequences. We learn a lot more
about all three of them; most importantly, I found my former school self
reflected to some degree in all of them. Director Azazal Jacobs is able
to achieve some poignancy, but it is isolated and erratic, rather than
cohesive and elegant.
The sound is Dolby 5.1 and the video transfer is clean.
There are no significant features except the trailer, which is a shame.
I enjoyed Terri, but not ecstatically. It is a low-budget quiet
achiever which had room to grow further but did not manage to.