Even though John C Reilly is fantastic in this film, it has hard to praise this because of all its indie film eccentricities. It seems like ever since Garden State, indie film protagonists have basically become one note characters.
The character Terri, like many, many other indie film protagonists, is simply sleepwalking through life, until a chance relationship changes his perspective on the world. I guess the twist on this now very cliched character arc is the fact that Terri is a husky guy, who likes wearing pajamas everywhere. I was sure this choice of clothing would bother me, but it actually is one of the more inspired creative choices in the film. Since Terri seems to have a set of PJs to suit any occasion, this becomes a rather humorous visual gag. And I have to say that this film is not without actual humor. John C Reilly is great, and I was pretty much guaranteed to laugh anytime he was on screen.
My problem with the film Terri, is the exact thing that Roger Ebert praised it for. He wrote that the movie "moves at a human pace", but I would have to disagree. Just because a film is slow, doesn't make it realistic. I would argue that just as a film, like say Tony Scott's Domino, can portray a world so intense and fast paced that it is unrealistic, so can a film be so lackadaisical in its portrayal of the world, that it falls into fantasy. There are so many slow scenes in which Terri is just walking through the woods, or doing something else mundane, that it becomes unbearable. Even a scene in which Terri and a bunch of other misfits are drinking and taking drugs moves at a snails pace, and this is unbearable.
There are moments in which Terri the film shows promise, but the wet sandwich that is Terri the character, spoils these moments of promise almost immediately.