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L.A. Film Fest: ‘Terri’ A Genuine Slice Of The Awkward Life

L.A. Film Fest: ‘Terri' A Genuine Slice Of The Awkward Life

Also We Have Some Red Carpet Yuks Care Of The Cast

We won’t write out a full review of “Terri” as, well, we already have (twice), though honestly, this writer liked it quite a bit more than some of our fellow Playlisters — particularly Jacob Wysocki as the titular high school student, who brings to the character a roundness and enthusiasm that is unexpected.

But also unexpected is that “Terri” is a genuinely warm and a genuinely genuine movie about growing up. As many films that take place in the world of a high school are marketed, “Terri” is said to be for anybody who’s ever felt like an outcast, but this is an example of a film that truly is just that. Wysocki and John C. Reilly make for an excellent team (again, see our previous reviews as to why) and they’re backed up by a fantastic supporting cast in Bridger Zardina, Olivia Crocicchia and Creed Bratton, who breaks out of his comedy schtick of Weird Old Man to put in a great dramatic performance as Terri’s uncle, who, plagued by dementia, becomes the cared-for as opposed to the caretaker. Talking to Bratton before the screening, he credited a great meeting with director Azazel Jacobs along with the strong script as the reasons he worked particularly hard to nail the audition for this role.

In fact all of the cast named the script and its helmer as the elements that had them from the start. Said Wysocki, “The script (by Patrick Dewitt) is amazingly on point and I just love that it’s a real depiction of a human being. It’s not exaggeration, it’s not like your ‘Sixteen Candles‘ kind of teen movie where ‘woe is me.’ It’s like real people going through real issues that are relatable to more than one person.”

Summing up the film well is a quote from an enthusiastic audience member during the post-screening Q&A, “I’ve been coming to this festival for almost four years, and a lot of the movies that I see have these long moments that I call air — they’re just full of air and nothing happens, and they have sad endings, and I thought this movie was going to be like that. But then I realized that every scene was really meaningful on the silence, they weren’t just — there area lot of things that were said without dialouge and I loved that.” Basically, this isn’t indie ho-hum schlock. We enjoyed it too, sir.

“Terri” can be seen in theatres starting this Friday July 1st. For more from the cast about working on the film, picture car hijackings and upcoming projects, see our round-up of some of the best red carpet quotes below.

What was your relationship like with Jacob in prepping for the film?
Reilly: We didn’t have a lot of time to rehearse on the film, so the audition was really when I got to know Jacob initially, but it’s amazing how well you get to know someone when you spend an afternoon locked in a car with them.

Locked in a car?
Reilly: I drive around with Jacob’s chracter and Bridger’s character… and I would interview them and ask how’s your day, what’s really happening. You can tell me stuff that you can’t tell your parents.

Is that true, or were you secretly a spy for their parents?
Reilly: Oh no, I wasn’t a spy no, that’s the cool thing about being a mentor [ed note: not just on set, ‘mentor’ was very much Reilly’s role in the film] is you can do risky things with a mentor, because a mentor just doesn’t have that thing that parents have, where you’re just genetically wired that you don’t want your child to be harmed or to get hurt in anyway. But a mentor can be like, “Yeah, you want to do that, this is probably what will happen, but go ahead and try it, I hope you make it.” You can be a little more open with it.

The other night I caught Eric Wareheim’s Kewl Vids program and he brought his ‘Tim & Eric’ movie trailer with him. Were there any changes in going from TV to a movie in their process?
Reilly: Very little, other than they were beholden to sustain a story for an hour and a half or two hours and that has its challenges but for the most part their working system was the same, which was great. Which was total chaos and them trying to make each other laugh and don’t get hung up on any kind of format or way of making it. I think the fans are going to be super happy with it.

John (C. Reilly) was just saying that you spent a long afternoon in a car together.
Wysocki: (laughs) there’s a scene where we’re driving to the funeral and for whatever reason John started cracking some jokes and the giggle train started and once we started getting onto all the giggles, we couldn’t stop.
Zadina: It was great — at one point we drove off in the picture car and went to go eat hot dogs at this hot dog place that he knew down the street — just for the heck of it.
Wysocki: Which you’re not supposed to do.

What was exciting about working with Azazel Jacobs?
Bratton: He’s an actor’s director, he’s soft, he doesn’t get excited, doesn’t force you but he’s right there and if you do anything false he’ll come up and basically whisper in your ear – not that I ever do anything false. I’m impeccable. (laughs)

So what do you think about James Spader as the new boss on The Office?
Bratton: That would be so cool, if it happens it’s going to be great, I thought he was the best thing in the show — that season finale? Without a doubt, I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, he’s very magnetic right?

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