Terri is of the quirky-observational-character-study school of indie film. Terri (Jason Wysocki) is an overweight teen trying to fit in in a small town. He is the caregiver of his uncle (The Office's Creed Bratton), who suffers from dementia. Sullen and constantly picked on, Terri is frequently tardy for class and his grades are down. That garners him attention from the assistant principal, Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), and an unlikely friendship blooms. Terri's ragtag collection of friends grows to include Chad (Bridger Zadina), a boy with trichotillomania, and Heather (Olivia Crocicchia), a girl of dubious reputation.
All of the performances in Terri are of quality. Especially notable is Wysocki, whose mien sometimes imparts a grave wisdom. The script does him no favors, however. The plot is predictable, and the characters vary from inscrutable to simplistic. You don't gain much understanding of Terri the character; all you get is a collection of behaviors. Though providing a little comedy and poignancy, Fitzgerald does nothing that isn't foretold by the usual arc for this kind of character.
The wild card is Heather, who exists as a vaguely rogue force of nature, which is maybe why Terri likes her. The whole thing doesn't really pan out to much, but it's mildly interesting for a spell.
Alas, it's not the stuff of David Gordon Green. Skip Terri.
Opens Friday, September 23rd, at the Ridgeway Four