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Terri (2011)

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The story of a large fifteen-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.

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, (story by) | 1 more credit »
9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Flemisch
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Dirty Jack
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Mrs. Hamish
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Sex Ed
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Mrs. Davidson
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Mrs. Vick (as Diane Louise Salinger)
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Waitress
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Samantha Goode
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Rachel #1 (as Jessica Stone)
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Rachel #2
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Storyline

The story of a large fifteen-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We've all been there.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug and alcohol use - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

8 August 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Terri, o atairiastos  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$78,257 (USA) (1 July 2011)

Gross:

$653,578 (USA) (16 September 2011)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mr. Fitzgerald: Life's a mess, dude, but we're all just doing the best we can, you know. You and me, and Samantha. We're just doing what we can. So if I hurt you, or if I lied to you, all I can tell you is I'm sorry, and I will try to do better. Maybe I will do better, or maybe I'll... do even worse. I don't know. I screw up all the time, because that's what people do. You know.
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Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Lone Dog
Written by Jeff Cairns
Performed by Dogweed
Produced by Manny Nieto
Courtesy of Dogweed
Off album "California"
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User Reviews

Two Strong Performances, Everything Else is Dull
15 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Terri (Jacob Wysocki) has been dealt a rough hand. A heavy-set teenager with more than a touch of social anxiety, Terri finds school to be a hellhole where he goes unnoticed (when he's lucky). His home life is not much better. He doesn't know where either of his parents are and he lives with his uncle (Creed Batton) who is slipping further and further into dementia. When he gets in trouble for firing back at one of his many mockers, the school's principal, Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), sees a kid who desperately needs a friend. He sets up weekly meetings with Terri and attempts to take the boy under his wing. But the many years of loneliness have taken a toll on Terri and despite the influence of Mr. Fitzgerald, transitioning into a fully functioning member of high school society proves more difficult than originally thought.

There is serious promise to be found within Terri. Up-and-coming director Azazel Jacobs has a firm handle on his subject matter and he works hard to show Terri for the good hearted boy that he is. It is a very simple and understated film (more on this in a minute) as Jacobs lets his protagonist move at his own pace. You can see why so many respected critics have identified Jacobs as a name to watch in the future. Wysocki himself gives an honest performance and displays solid chops for a kid who has almost no acting experience. He makes it easy to identify with Terri and that brings about a sense of natural empathy that is essential to the film's success. Likewise, Reilly is a perfect choice for the would-be-cool principal who tries extremely hard to be relevant and accessible to his students but can't quite make it work. The relationship between Terri and Fitzgerald is poignant and heartfelt and without question their shared scenes are the best of the film.

When Terri diverts from its main storyline, however, it tends to bog down. What starts out as sympathy for Terri eventually turns into near depression as his narrative struggles to find an upswing. His interactions with his friends Chad (Bridger Zadina) and Heather (Olivia Crocicchia) are tenuous and never fully realize the potential they have together resulting in a choppy feel that I never could quite shake. Jacobs adds very little in the way of production value, too, and while I can appreciate that sort of simplicity, in this case a pronounced soundtrack and the like would have added to the experience. I found myself growing bored with Terri and had a hard time staying invested when Terri and Fitzgerald weren't on screen together. That's a real shame because I really wanted to care about Terri's relationships with Chad, Heather, and his uncle but Jacobs story didn't quite give me enough reason to get there. With a little more focus, Terri would be a touching and possibly even uplifting coming-of-age vision based around the Terri-Fitzgerald dynamic. Instead, it becomes too dull and convoluted for my tastes and limited my ability to stay connected.

Check out my reviews at ieatfilms.com


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