Freddie Highmore, the gorgeous and very talented child actor from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and August Rush, is all grown up and takes the lead in the coming of age, teen drama/romantic comedy The Art of Getting By.

Highmore is George, a lonely and pessimistic teen who does not see the point of life, school or homework. As a result, he has made it all the way to his final year of High School without doing any work, and not really connecting with any of his peers. He is in danger of not graduating. However, when Sally (Emma Roberts), the popular and pretty girl, who can be just as complicated as him, befriends him, things start to change. He is a little more excited about being 17. Will George and Sally ever be more than just friends and will George finally stop meandering through life?

The Art of Getting By is a sweet film from first time writer/director Gavin Wiesen. Its premise of being at the end of high school, not knowing what lies ahead and what the point of it all is, as well as experiencing first love, is something that people from all generations can relate to – whether you’re a teen who is currently going through this; or a teen/pre-teen anticipating going through this in the near future; or well past your teens and looking back at this time of life with fondness/dread.

As much as we can all relate to this film on some level, there’s a spark missing. It is well acted and shot beautifully (New York never fails to look amazing on screen), however at times it feels too forced. The film is trying too hard to be an indie teen drama. It wants to be the next Juno, resulting in the interesting start turning into a series of ‘indie wannabe’ clichés to bring it home.

The other problem is that the audience is supposed to care about what happens to George, however he is not a very endearing character. You just want to slap him about the head a few times and tell him to get over it! There is also a lack of chemistry between Highmore and Roberts.

A positive is that the supporting cast is made up of actors that we haven’t seen on the big screen in a while, the likes of Alicia Silverstone, Blair Underwood and Rita Wilson. Also, there are some good subtle thinking points coming from this film. My two favourites “Look in the mirror and find something you’ve never had the courage to say before. Find something you care about, what you believe!” and  “Happiness is something you have to look after, be vigilant about.”

The Art of Getting By is a film that teens will love. Everyone outside of this bracket may find it an enjoyable and pleasant experience but at the same time be a little frustrated, as it could have been so much more.

That’s Entertainment!
Sarina 🙂

About The Bellissimo Files

Hi, I’m Sarina Bellissimo and this is the place I come to indulge in my love of all things entertainment. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by all things Hollywood/showbiz. I blame my parents! As a child my mum used to force me to watch old Elvis Presley films with her, and both my mum & dad would take my brothers and I to the Drive-In to watch the latest films (this is where my love for ROCKY began!). When not watching movies, I was trying to figure out ways to pull the back off the TV so I could somehow get into it and be a part of all the action on the screen! This blog isn’t a place that revels in gossip and negativity. It’s a place where entertainment is celebrated. That said, this is a place you can turn to for honesty. Honesty and criticism don’t always mean attacks. I choose to criticise the piece of work but not the person and I acknowledge that just because I don’t like something, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Here you’ll find interviews with some of the biggest names in the world of Entertainment, reviews, breaking news and my very own musings. Away from The Bellissimo Files, you can find me on Spin 1038 on Saturdays, between 1pm and 3pm,presenting Plan B. There’s celebrity interviews, entertainment news, the low down on the must see movies and music releases of the week, the ultimate guide to what’s on where in the city, as well as masterclasses with experts on standby to answer listeners’ questions. I also appear on TV3’s “Elaine” panel, talk movies on “Ireland AM” and you can sometimes hear me filling in on Moncrieff’s “Movies and Booze “(Newstalk) The Bellissimo Files is constantly evolving. Files (topics) will be added or deleted as time goes on. Feel free to read, watch, comment, share, and make suggestions for what you would like to see on the site. Sarina
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