Friday, February 17, 2012

1694 - Terri

This film was a favorite at Sundance last year and it's not surprising.  It fits right into that quirky mold.  Terri tells the story of a depressed, obese, high school student who has to help take care of his mentally ill Uncle (played by The Office's Creed Bratton, surprisingly), and also who happens to wear pajamas all the time.  Why?  "Because they're comfortable."  The real reason - it's unique and looks cool on a film poster. 
What I liked about this film was that it's not your typical film about a highschool loser who learns to fit in and who people get to know and realize that he's a really great person.  And it doesn't take the Glee route where the outcasts are actually just as attractive as the cool kids.  It feels a lot more authentic than that.  People think Terri is weird and they avoid him.  John C Reilly plays a guidance councilor who has the best intentions for his student but at one point muses something to the effect of: "I wonder if I shouldn't just let you all be terrible to one another, prepare you for the real world."  And that rings pretty damn true. 
While I found that the film made a lot of choices for the sake of being non-traditional rather than honest and true to the characters, I think that there's a decent audience for a film like this.  At the same time it's the kind of film that will frustrate anyone looking for the usual character arc.  Terri isn't like that.  He's pretty much the same depressed obese kid at the end that he is at the beginning.  In fact not a lot changes for the character or the world inside of Terri - if anything it's just catching a glimpse of that world - which in and of itself makes the film watchable. 
I liked it but I didn't love it.  It's on netflix for those that are curious about it. 

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