Can you break new ground in a tried-and-true Hollywood formula film? If you've been victimized by a viewing of The Change-Up lately, you're probably inclined to say no. And we don't really blame you. That particular film is a painful example of how the film industry shamelessly recycles old material by rendering a once fun narrative device into a steaming pile of cinematic crap. Where there was once Jody Foster and women's lib and freaky Fridays, now there is Jason Bateman fulfilling some contract obligation and trying to save a painfully sexist script. And so when you hear that there's a new teacher movie coming out, it's your right to be skeptical. Because you've seen it all -- from Dead Poets to Dangerous Minds -- and it's starting to be less rousing and more insert-cliché-inspirational-lecture-here. Except Terri is different. There's no scenery chomping Williams/Dreyfuss/Pfeiffer, just good old John C. Reilly as an educator who reaches out to an awkward misfit whose baggage includes a crazy uncle (played by the brilliant Creed Bratton of The Office fame). Terri is a quiet, observation piece that drops the bombast and sideshow of the Inspirational Educator Movie and focuses on the type of relationship and ease of communication most educators wish they could have with their students. Take it in at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell, at 6 p.m. And 8 p.m. on Friday; 5 p.m. on Saturday; and at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8.50 or $6.50 for members. Visit themodern.org/magnolia.
Sept. 16-18, 2011