MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
From getting the press release to looking at the cover of the Blu-ray, I didn’t quite know what to make of “Terri” until I put the disc in my player and let it start to spin. The cast suggests a relatively funny film, featuring the always off-kilter John C. Reilly and Creed Bratton from “The Office.” However, I really didn’t get a handle on this movie until I was a good half hour into it.
“Terri” tells the story of a troubled teenager who lives with his ailing uncle and acts bizarrely in school. His principal takes an interest in him the way he does other emotionally at-risk kids. At first Terri resists this help, but he soon warms up to him. As Terri tries to forge new friendships in school, he realizes his crush on one of the girls in his class, who herself has suffered some emotional damage from getting caught in the middle of sexual misconduct with a fellow student.
I cannot say that I particularly liked “Terri” as it seemed to force the drawn-out, moping expressions of a teenager who lets the world bother him more than it should. However, I can respect the film. It sets out to be something different than your standard teenage fare, and in this sense it also breaks away from some of the more independent slacker comedies.
Even to call “Terri” a comedy is a somewhat incorrect statement. There are some funny moments in the film, and for the most part the tone is somewhat lighthearted. However, it falls more on the drama side as the director tries to put the viewer into the heart and mind of this overweight wallflower trying desperately to blossom.
There’s a real attempt for the film to connect with the teenage audience. Like a somewhat creepy guidance counselor who smokes behind the school with the kids, “Terri” depicts some pretty inappropriate behavior from its characters, including stealing Terri’s uncle’s medicine for recreational use. As a parent, this isn’t something I can necessarily champion, but I can see how this can endear itself to kids looking to rebel.
In the end, “Terri” is at least an interesting movie, though it lacks any sort of direct overcoming of the conflict, and things piddle out in the end.
The Blu-ray comes with a slate of deleted scenes and an oddly faux-artistic behind-the-scenes look at the film, revealing the director to be remarkably like that aforementioned creepy guidance counselor who smokes behind the school with the kids.