"Depressing, Humanist View"
What You Need To Know:
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.
(HH, PaPa, LL, V, S, NN, AA, D, MM) Strong humanist worldview with strong pagan content where main character starts out as nihilistic fatalist then saves himself from his depleting fate; eight obscenities (including “f” bomb), two strong profanities as well as crude terms such as hussy and slut, plus crude humor; one brief act of violence, stepdad initiates fight with teenaged stepson and stepdad is injured; light sexual content includes implied fornication, teenaged girl talks nonchalantly about mom’s many affairs, girl asks boy if he wants to have relations but changes her mind; crude drawings with brief nudity, girl seen changing with brief view of back and bra strap; strong alcohol use throughout by underage teenagers; strong smoking by teens; and, disrespect for authority and parents by teenagers throughout, dysfunctional families, lying, divorce viewed in positive light as part of the ending solution, and a teenager lives alone without supervision.
THE ART OF GETTING BY is a story about high school senior George Zinavoy who’s consumed by his nihilistic, fatalistic view of life until he befriends the pretty and perplexing Sally Howe. Sally’s own carefree take on life challenges George’s way of thinking as well as his lack of motivation.
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.