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MOVIE REVIEW: The Art of Getting By

Perfect time to release a movie about graduation

  • Emma Roberts as Sally and Freddie Highmore as George in "The Art of Getting By."
  • Freddie Highmore as George in "The Art of Getting By."
  • Emma Roberts as Sally in "The Art of Getting By."
  • Freddie Highmore as George and Emma Roberts as Sally in "The Art of Getting By."
  • The Art of Getting By
  • Blair Underwood as Principal Martinson in "The Art of Getting By."
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The Art of Getting By is the movie you should let go by.

In this film, Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) stars as the loner, geek rebel who doesn’t do homework. Since he’s going to die someday, he doesn’t see the point in homework. It’s a bit of a refreshing take from the usual complaint of kids that merely ask “When will we use this in real life?”

Highmore’s parents are played by two actors we don’t see all that much: Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks (who wasn't great in this role), and Sam Robards, who is in one of my favorite films (Fandango with Kevin Costner – rent it).

As the stepfather who lies about many things in his life, Robards' part was written poorly. But, the entire movie is poorly written.

Alicia Silverstone is forgettable in her role as a teacher. The principal is played well by Blair Underwood, but the problem is that same character – the tough guy who, deep down, really does care.

Writer/director Gavin Wiesen proves himself to be an inept filmmaker with this picture.

The kids all seem so unrealistic feeling sorry for themselves, and the way they philosophize about life. At least they look like teenagers.

Early on, there were a few interesting lines: “Do you have any friends?” “Well…I’m kind of a misanthrope.”

The problem is the many attempts at humor that just fall flat (one being the scene with the boy waking up with an erection, only to fall on the floor in an attempt to hide it from the girl in the room).

There’s the scene with the kid that drinks too much and barfs. There’s the geek underdog we’re supposed to root for – who is usually played by Michael Cera or Jesse Eisenberg. There’s the scene where the cute girl asks the geek if he’s a virgin. There’s the scene with friends contemplating having sex with each other, and the girl deciding that would be a bad idea because it would change everything between them. There’s the bad parenting, including the mother that’s flirtatious with a young boy. There’s the sensitive artist who’s extremely talented. There’s the abstract artist, and the usual debates about if that’s real art. When one artist calls him derivative, that was the perfect description of the entire movie.

This film centers around a kid that hates doing homework. Well, watching this and writing the review for it is one of the few times I felt like I was doing homework instead of something I love.

If you’re really craving another coming-of-age comedy (because it’s been at least two weeks since we’ve had one), wait a little longer. The movieSubmarinewill be out soon.

Emma Roberts (the adorable niece of Julia Roberts) just starred in a similar movie earlier this year; it was calledIt’s a Kind of Funny Story. Go rent that instead.

This movie gets an F.

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  • Rating: 1 of 5