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Written by on January 28, 2011 

Premiering in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category at Sundance Film Festival 2011 is Azazel JacobsTerri. The coming-of-age dramedy follows Terri (Jacob Wysocki) an overweight high-schooler who is dealing with all the troubles that comes with. Befriended by his school’s vice president (John C. Reilly), the teen also struggles with taking care of his uncle (Creed Bratton).

The higlight of the film is John C. Reilly. He is able to balance much-needed comedy with a few moments of dramatic weight. Outside of a few surprising scenes (notably an extended look at teenage drug and love experimentation later in the film), Terri has very little momentum. The scenes with Terri’s disabled uncle fall flat and the emotional arc of our lead is never quite delivered. With the first two acts not taking many chances, it feels like catch-up when Jacobs’ diverts from the monotonous tone in the stand-out third act. Raffi Asdourian and I give expanded thoughts below.

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