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The Art of Getting By [Blu-ray]
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Fatalistic teenager George Zingavoy (Freddie Highmore) is a master at just barely getting by. In fact, he’s practically turned it into an art form—making it through the entire school year without doing a shred of work. But when George meets a beautiful and complicated girl named Sally (Emma Roberts), he discovers a kindred spirit who turns his slacker world upside down. Their quirky and unexpected romance may just inspire George to do the unthinkable—get off his butt and chase after his dreams.
A gloomy teenage boy grapples with painting and romance in The Art of Getting By. George (Freddie Highmore, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is the sort of loner who reads Camus in the school cafeteria; obsessed with his eventual death, he declines to do any schoolwork, preferring to sketch across his textbooks. But when he helps Sally (Emma Roberts, Scream 4) evade trouble, the two strike up a friendship that threatens to push George out of his nihilistic cocoon. The Art of Getting By is a lot like other coming-of-age-in-the-city stories, from The Catcher in the Rye to Igby Goes Down, which isn't a bad thing--teen angst is perennial and sullen youths are endlessly photogenic. But the confusion and betrayed cynicism of the script is at odds with the fresh-faced cast: Highmore and Roberts look like they should be running through fields of daisies, not smoking cigarettes amid urban decay; both seem profoundly well-adjusted. The supporting cast, including Alicia Silverstone as a teacher and Blair Underwood as the school principal, give the story some emotional grounding. Their concern about George graduating carries more emotional weight than George's morbid musings. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, the chemistry between the two young actors is very good and the oddness patterns of speech and ways of talking of Freddie Highmore is understandable when you watch the sparse five minutes total of the two extras--he's English! Yeah, now that unplaceable American accent now makes some sense.
Yet too much of this was way too odd. Apparently in New York City no one cards high school students in bars or nightclubs. The musical choices on the soundtrack are interesting but, honestly, a bit twee and second division indie. I thought (SPOILER ALERT) Emma Roberts putting the moves on the painter "friend" in his 20s was a pretty dumb plot twist. Also, the cramming in of an entire year of homework assignments into three weeks was ridiculously unachievable. Plus the final project painting just did not fit Highmore's art up to that point. He goes from funky out-there fantasy style manga meets graphic novel to a straight very traditional portrait?
The performances worked, New York City as a "character" worked, but the plot was too inevitable. Of course, they end up together which is what we all want but the steps to get there at times seemed untrue and at others spot on.
The film was off beat... and "different". Some of the events was a bit farfetched to be believable or genuine and realistic. The film begins with little credibility as the plot follows an attractive upper-class high school girl that shows great interest in awkward, artistic loner boy classmate. (the film had attractive young leads)
Some of the acting (especially the adult actors) was a bit off, where the performance lacked conviction.
Though I must say that the film delivered a few thoughtful moments (that addressed the subject of unrequited love), that turned the film and the warmth eventually grew on me.
Later, the film felt like an art film, a student film rather... a bit abstract, that doesn't follow logic... but I discovered what made it worked (for me) was that it had soul!
I'm sure it was a small passion project,
I'm glad it was made and I had watched it.
For something more masterful in terms of coming of age romantic-comedy try (500) Days of Summer
Film rating: B
It was fairly good and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Freddie Highmore did an amazing job. He is probably one of my new favourite actors just because of this movie. I've also fallen in love with Emma Roberts. She has been in so many amazing movies, and this one is one of her tops.
The plot is a little boring, as this is a school love story, but it was something I liked.
If you like movies about depression and overcoming it with love, you have to see this.