Like its eponymous protagonist, Terri sits awkwardly outside mainstream expectations, but is all the more appealing for it. The film opens with fifteen year old Terri (Jacob Wysocki) squeezed into a bathtub, his hefty frame barely contained. He doesn’t quite fit in at high school either: ostracised by the cool kids and roped into weekly progress meetings with the vice principal, Terri’s lot is not a happy one.
Terri’s tone and set-up may initially feel tediously familiar – misfit-populated indie dramedies are ten a penny – but director Azazel Jacobs mostly eschews cliché, with unexpectedly poignant results. Wysocki is excellent in his first starring role, though he’s inevitably overshadowed by a top-form John C. Reilly as high-fiving VP and confidant ‘Fitzy’, who not only gets the funniest lines, but the most sincere ones. “Life’s a mess dude,” he assures a despondent Terri, “but we’re all just doing the best we can,” – a simple but honest message, for a simple but honest film. [Chris Buckle]