An intimate portrayal of just getting by – without the bullshit indie façade. New York director, Azazel Jacobs, invites a sense of reality into the archetypal, purposely zany population, of the coming of age tale.
The 2011 release Terri, opens with a cumbersome Terri, wedged tightly into a bath and is immediately into our hearts as the lovable antihero. Whether Terri is wise beyond his years or merely a typical 15-year-old prick is undecided, but his flippant behaviour alongside a somewhat daunting physique proves to be the literal middle finger to high school society.
The sole carer for his debilitating uncle, presumably suffering from Alzheimer’s, Terri begins his almost rebellion, opting for a pajama consistent wardrobe and inadvertently turning to killing mice for a cheap thrill. The minorly psychotic behaviour of the lumbering teen is alto quickly recognised by surprise star John C Reily, in a well-deserved mentor role as the down-with-the-kids principal. Though dependable for some much-needed comic relief, Reilys compassionate character acts as a source of stability in Terris unconventional upbringing.
As Terri ambles along his partially self-isolated life, the relationships he accidentally forms make for truly bizarre yet wonderful friendships. Reily enamors a sense of confidence into the before fastidious reject, that we all (including Terri) have long been awaiting. After dropping some prescription Alzheimer’s medication and forcing down a $200 bottle of whisky, Terri becomes more at home with the local slut and a hair-picking weirdo than most high school cliques ever convince themselves they are.
Most of all, what this immediate classic endows upon us is the idea of hope. We are not washed over with the pretence that everything has worked out and of course Terri becomes head jock with the loveable slut on his arm. Instead Jacobs persists with reality, Terris uncle will never become well, he will always be picked on, but an endearing smile from lead Jacob Wysocki (Terri) assures us at least that for him, life has improved.