Very few movies reflect the truth of high school experiences. A lot of people see movies like American Pie, Superbad, Project X, or The Girl Next Door even and think, “Is that what high school is like in other places in the country?” Well this high school comedy/drama paints a pretty true picture much like the way The Breakfast Club did. I am not saying that Terri is similar, just that the story and characters feel real by saying and doing things typical of any high school student.
Terri follows a tall, overweight loner (Jacob Wysocki) that is missing excitement in his life once he starts taking care of his uncle who is suffering from some form of dementia. Terri begins to wear his lack of enthusiasm for his life by dressing in nothing but pajamas which catches the attention of the high school principal (John C. Reilly). In working with the principal Terri becomes acquainted with some schoolmates that he did not expect to interact with. Need more information or want to put a face to the names, here is the trailer:
This drama-comedy is more towards the drama side but does have its share of dry comedy. Being an independent film, the way the movie is shot is very raw. What I mean is its use of silence due to lack of dialogue or background music, in my opinion, helps it by making it feel real. When we walk through everyday life there is no background or theme music so why should these sorts of movies? When I say there is a lack of dialogue I do not mean there is not any but the dialogue feels very authentic for the characters and situations.
The two performances to make note of in this film are from Jacob Wysocki and John C. Reilly. Now I am not sure how old Wysocki actually is but he looks like he could still be in high school. If you think back to the kids in high school that fit his physical description they act just like he does in this movie! He is very reserved and has resentment towards authority such as the gym teacher (great scene by the way) and when he meets with the principal, John C. Reilly. Reilly plays the role to perfection. Principal Fitzgerald reminded me a lot of the guidance counselors of at my high school and how I thought they would be behind closed doors. They come off as sort of tough in front of others but when they work with “disruptive” students I could see them being very buddy-buddy and try to establish a connection using a formula they use for all their other students. It essentially shows that they do not treat other students like they are unique which I have always thought.
Overall, I give it a 7/10 because I feel the meaning of the film kind of fades towards the end of the movie. Again it is a very dry comedy which is not everyone’s cup of tea.