Sundance Surprise Terri Opens in Irvine Today

Time trip back to January, when Corona del Mar actor Ben York Jones was blogging for the Weekly from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival (when he wasn't taking bows for the U.S. Dramatic Competition winner he co-wrote with Santa Ana-bred Drake Doremus, Like Crazy).

A film that Jones caught by the festival's halfway point--and went absolutely bonkers over--was Azazel Jacobs's little indie comedy Terri, which opens today at Edwards University in Irvine.

Here was Ben's recap:

It was absolutely my favorite U.S. Dramatic Comp film of those I saw. It's subtle, it's funny, it's off-beat while remaining uncontrived, and it showcases completely unaffected and thought-provoking performances by the four primary characters (including John C. Reilly as an unorthodox high-school vice principal). The film plays unconventionally, more like a novel might read (it was written by a novelist/first-time screenwriter). The real winner here is director Azazel. Potentially mistaken for a member of the Mars Volta or the Strokes, the AFI grad is amazingly talented and humble to boot. . . . The humor. His sensibilities. The balanced nuances. Terri is great. I hope I can work with Aza some day.

Terri (Jacob Wysocki) faces Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly) in Terri.
Terri (Jacob Wysocki) faces Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly) in Terri.

By the way, it was a pretty solid Sundance for Reilly, who also had a hilarious supporting role in Miguel Arteta's Cedar Rapids, which starred Hangover II's Ed Helms and moved with light-speed into mainstream theaters shortly after the festival ended. You can now Netflix it.

Terri has Reilly's garrulous but well-meaning Vice Principal Mr. Fitzgerald reaching out to the titular character, an oversized teen misfit played by newcomer Jacob Wysocki. Terri, who has been abandoned by his parents, is cared for by an ailing uncle played by Helms' castmate from The Office, Creed Bratton.

See if you agree with Jones' praise of Terri at the theater in the Town Center shopping center across from UC Irvine. Showtimes today are 1:10, 4:10, 7:30 and 10:10 p.m.


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