The story of a bullied fifteen-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.The story of a bullied fifteen-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.The story of a bullied fifteen-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.
Not your average misfits
The misfit in high school is a tried and true indie genre (were ANY indie filmmakers well-adjusted jocks in high school?). So one approaches yet another example of the breed with some weariness, expecting certain marks to be hit, especially when the protagonist is, as here, hugely overweight. And indeed he is unpopular with his phys ed teacher and gets more than one comment about his breasts. But all manner of subtle variations make this one unique from the start, starting with his mixed relationship with his uncle (a surprisingly touching turn by "The Office"'s Creed Bratton), whose condition - Alzheimer's? - makes him sometimes the one needing care, but whose age and fundamental compassion also make him the caretaker (in the never explained absence of Terri's parents). Perhaps because of this ambivalent situation, Terri has a strong sense of self which takes him from the start out of victim territory, prompting him, for instance, to defiantly wear pajamas to school. His relationship with John C. Reilly's assistant principal character is similarly ambivalent, since as a mentor the latter is both empowering and disappointing. The two other students who become his friends are similarly displaced yet defiant and the film is rich in both vulnerability and self-assertion. The quiet intrigues of the film are not the stuff of stirring plot, but do show Terri and his friends in their own messy, determined way becoming themselves in a way that is, almost unobtrusively, optimistic and uplifting.
- Jan 26, 2012
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content