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Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just Getting By, December 15, 2011
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This review is from: The Art of Getting By [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
George is an intelligent yet intentional underachiever at a New York prep school. Believing life to be a meaningless charade, he does barely enough school work to pass despite his potential. When he meets the gorgeous, quick witted Sally, she forces him out of his shell. He falls hard and learns life lessons along the way. If this sounds like it comes from the Hipster filmmaking handbook, you're completely right. As a matter of fact, this film leaves a horrible first impression and never recovers. For about 20 minutes or so this feels like a cheap cross between Wes Anderson and Diablo Cody, with unrealistically self aware characters and forced dialog. It doesn't get any better when the character of Dustin is introduced, as his place in the story is immediately obvious as both George's mentor as well as the "other guy" for Sally. It never finds its footing and doesn't feel like its own film. It's a really derivative movie that was just cute enough to bring to Sundance.

The only aspect of the film that saves it from the cinematic slag heap is the usual top notch performance from Emma Roberts. As shallow and unlikable as her character is written (and it *is* shallow), Roberts somehow shines through and always commands your attention. She did the best that was possible with what was given to her, much like her performance in It's Kind of a Funny Story. If she chooses the right roles, this girl could really be something special. As for the rest of the cast, the characters are so two-dimensional they're almost irrelevant. Freddie Highmore just channels Zac Efron and cries more. Seriously, I don't understand how anyone could praise his performance, it's just sort of there.

The Art of Getting By is the perfect title for this film. It describes itself. The characters were unlikable and the script meanders about. If you're a fan of Emma Roberts, I'd still give it a view, but everyone else is better off watching other far superior films in this genre such as Rushmore and Rocket Science .
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 21, 2011 11:48:48 AM PST
The nameless says:
I saw Rushmore, but consider Art of Getting By to be a much better movie. Rushmore didn't seem to have as much thematic unity, and felt like it was trying too much to be a quirky spin on Ferris Bueller! Too many goofy elements kept it from being a great drama.

Posted on Jan 7, 2012 5:57:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2012 5:58:08 PM PST
Tegan Roche says:
Robert, I agree completely. It was as if they just took the best parts from other great movies and threw them all together into a blob. I wonder, if the two main characters weren't so attractive, would anyone even watch it? I mean, really? It felt hollow. It was awful. Just. Awful.

Posted on Jul 4, 2012 1:50:20 PM PDT
D. Homsher says:
I agree. As the film progressed EVERY opportunity to bring something new and fresh to the plot was abandoned in favor of convention and cliche. A waste of what seemed to be a talented cast.
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