EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|TERRI (director: Patrick Dewitt; cinematographer: Tobias Datum; editor: Darrin Navarro; music: Mandy Hoffman; cast: Jacob Wysocki (Terri), Creed Bratton (Uncle James), Olivia Crocicchia (Heather Miles), Bridger Zadina (Chad), (Mr. Fitzgerald), Mary Anne McGarry (Ms Hamish); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Alison Dickey/Hunter Gray/Lynette Howell/ Alex Orlovsky; ATO Pictures; 2011); screenwriter:|
pic might not be the most profound, but it's
enjoyable, humorous, thoughtful, earnest and it has
a feel for what it's like to be an adolescent
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
directs this inspirational education drama about misfit teens. It tells of how the teens need to feel wanted and loved by their peers, parents and teachers, in order to have the best chance to succeed in school. It's adapted by Patrick deWitt from his short stories.
The underachieving 15-year-old Terri (Jacob Wysocki) is the bright but socially awkward obese suburban high school student abandoned by his parents and dwelling with his elderly ailing and possibly mentally challenged Uncle James (Creed Bratton) in his modest rundown country home. The gentle giant Terri's problem is that he's teased by classmates and gets into trouble with school authorities for his frequent tardiness and wearing pajamas to school. Assistant Principal Fitzgerald () comes on as Terri's friend and also befriends a few other of the school misfits, who are recruited for counseling sessions.
Loner Terri makes friends with two
other outcast students, the obnoxious, nervous hair
pulling, runt Chad (Bridger Zadina) and the sexually enticing
Heather (Crocicchia), who was almost expelled for
letting the school bully finger her in Home Economics
class until Terri provided her an excuse for her
actions. The three confused students meet one night at
Terri's tool shed, where they drink whiskey, pop Uncle
James' meds and strip. The young ones don't know how to
act mature and that scene might be a scary one for
parents to watch, except this is a gentle pic and any
misplaced behavior is looked upon with compassion as a
The AP's unorthodox disciplinary
methods seem to be working in making school a much
better experience for the three outcasts; and as Fitzgerald says “We’re all just doing the
best we can.” Which is all this slight narrative is
suggesting in its depiction of the public school
system and some students who don't fit in, as it shows
how big problems for a school can be reduced by going
outside the box to deal with them.
Jacobs' pic might not be the most profound, but it's enjoyable, humorous, thoughtful, earnest and it has a feel for what it's like to be an adolescent geek. The
REVIEWED ON 8/20/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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