The Movie: 6/10
The Art of Getting by is a movie about George (Freddie Highmore) who is a teenager who is trying to skate through high school in New York. He is listless, smart, and unmotivated to do anything. George lives with his mother, and his step-father, both of which are struggling to keep George on the right path, but as far as George can see, there is no point in even trying. His fatalistic attitude and lack of any attempt to fit in or do work has him on the brink of failing out of high school.
The cover for the movie talks about how George is a master at just barely getting by, but in reality, George is flunking out, so he is not even close to “just getting by.” Enter the effervescent Sally (Emma Roberts) who is popular, outgoing, and much more worldly than George when it comes to interacting with people and pretty much everything else. The two seem to hit it off for some reason, and they both seem to help the other. He keeps her a bit grounded, and she becomes his guide to high school. Soon he starts interacting with people that he would never have talked to before, and it is not long before he falls deeply and madly for Sally, even if it is not really apparent as to her intentions.
The two play New York teenagers quite well, and both are pretty solid in their roles. The movie is slow, but not too slow for this genre. I liked the story, and even though this was not perfect, it was a nice little independent film. George finally is told that he must make up all of the assignments that he didn’t bother to do in 3 weeks, or not graduate. His inability to tell Sally how he feels about her, and her inabilty to do the same for him cause tension when she ends up sleeping with George’s art mentor, who is much older and who should knoew better.
The Art of Getting By just barely skates by itself. The movie is average, with some tender moments. Highmore’s accent is spot on, and the acting was decent all around. I enjoyed the movie, but feel that there was a lot more that could have been done with these two.
- Fox Movie Channel Presents In Character With Freddie Highmore – This 4 minute feature has Highmore talking about his role, and how he prepared for it, and his view on the movie.
- HBO First Look: The Making Of The Art Of Getting By – If you take the 3 other shorts, and put them together, you get this 12 minute short.
- Director Commentary – This is a regular commmentary that is just average at best.
- New York Slice Of Life – This 3 minute feature focuses on filming in New York, which is the setting for the movie.
- On Young Love – The movie is all about teenagers in love, or trying to find love. This is another super short 3 minute extra that discusses that aspect of the movie.
Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for the movie is a nice shot of the two teenagers walking in New York. My only issue with the cover is the fact that it seems a lot brighter and cheerier than most of the movie itself. It is a decent cover though for this type of movie. pretty standard stuff. The menu is equally innocuous as it features scenes from the movie without much else. I actually liked the movie posters a bit more, which had the two teenagers walking past each other, instead of basically hand in hand.
Audio & Video: 7/10
The Art of Getting by is a mellow type of movie that is presented in a very muted way. The video is sharp for the most part, and the scenes of New York have a grainy, at times drab feel to them. The video presentation is good, but not spectacular. This is a lower budget movie that was shot on 35 mm film, and it gives the movie a nice feel. The audio is decent, as the 5.1 surround sound is adequate. There is not a whole lot of use of the rear speakers but the overall audio is good.
This is a slower movie that focuses mainly on the characters. The replay value is not all that great, but the movie itself is a good one. I don’t think that this will get played more than once in my house, so the value of the movie really has to take a hit. I thought Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts were good in this, and had they been bad, this movie would have been a disaster. It is a slow, coming of age romantic movie, that overall was a nice little movie.
Overall Score 6/10