THE ART OF GETTING BY
Depressing, Humanist View
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Emma
Roberts, Michael Angarano,
Sahas Spielberg, Blair
Underwood, Rita Wilson, Alicia
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 84 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures/News
Director: Gavin Wiesen
Executive Producer: Patrick Baker, Jonathan Gray,
Anthony Gudas, Andrew Levitas,
Gretchen McGowan, Henry
Pincus, Nick Quested, David
Producer: Kara Baker, P. Jennifer Dana,
Writer: Gavin Wieson
Address Comments To:pert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Chase Carey, President/COO, News Corp.
Stephen Gilula, President/COO
Nancy Utley, President/COO, Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Movie Corp. (A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.)
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000; Fax: (310) 369-2359
George (Freddie Highmore) has reached his senior year of high school having done none of the work necessary for graduating due to his disenfranchised relationship with the world, though he shows great potential and talent, especially in art. When he catches the interest of popular girl Sally (Emma Roberts), the two take part in each other’s worlds.
Sally takes George along to meet her divorced and promiscuous mother and to party with her friends. George takes Sally on his apathetic adventures of skipping school and visiting his new found artist friend, Dustin. With his new perspective, George begins to do his classwork. Meanwhile, he develops suspicions that his mother and stepfather are having problems with both money and marriage. When the question of love jeopardizes his friendship with Sally, George must find his true motivation before graduation approaches.
THE ART OF GETTING BY has a few entertaining moments, but those are greatly overshadowed by the movie’s blatant acceptance of immorality and its role in the plot’s solutions. For most of the movie, George is greatly unconcerned with responsibility and authority, though he does admit his indifference should not be rewarded. Sally presents an impassive view of her mother’s affairs as well sex in general, proposing it to George at one point with all of the passion and interest one might find in asking someone if they would like a cup of coffee. The teenagers in general have little accountability and are often seen drinking and smoking. All of the families in the movie are dysfunctional, with divorce, adultery and lying as common themes.
The movie itself is done using unconventional techniques such as breaking the line and shaking the camera. Many close-ups are used without any kind of establishing shot, resulting in a somewhat uncomfortable, extra-personal feel for the audience.
THE ART OF GETTING BY has little to commend it. Its few entertaining moments are not enough to outweigh the immorality that is not only present but condoned as well as the strong humanistic view through which George ultimately finds motivation.
THE ART OF GETTING BY has a strong sense of humanism. It also finds solutions to life’s problems in immoral concepts. This ultimately depressing movie has little to redeem or commend it. The few entertaining moments, but those are greatly overshadowed by the movie’s blatant acceptance of immorality and its role in the plot’s solutions. THE ART OF GETTING BY also contains some strong foul language, crude humor, innuendo, and alcohol use by underage teenagers.