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3.9 out of 5 stars56
3.9 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 January 2016
This movie really wasn't for me, and although I can see that Freddie Highmore plays his part very well, I couldn't stomach his character. Let me explain.

Meet George, a kid who can't find the motivation to achieve in life because he has such a pessimistic opinion of life (We're all going to die so what's the point of trying?) that he makes no effort whatsoever with school, his family and doesn't bother making friends. I found this so difficult to watch because actually, George's awareness of his own impending mortality was a great concept which the producers really should have run with - this could have been really interesting and chewy. However, what we actually have is a lazy, whiny kid who talks back to anyone who questions him and is basically a waste of time. Which, sadly, is what this film was.

I do think this movie was cast well, even the supporting cast did a great job with what is inherently a dreadful script. I just wish this movie had challenged some of the deeper issues at hand with mortality but it just doesn't. I barely made it through without muting the TV. One to avoid, unless you like petulant teenagers or you're more patient than me and can read into the hidden metaphors.
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on 27 September 2015
Freddie Highmore is really outstanding in this film, his portrayal of George is both sensitive and funny. While this may seam like the typical high school love story, it's got a great depth and fantastic story line to it that makes it a must watch in my opinion.
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on 5 February 2015
I don't usually like this sort of film but I have to admit I have watched it more than my fair share. It is different but without being unrealistic. I like it very much and don't regret the buy one bit. Please give it a try if your considering it!
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on 29 April 2015
Really sad film which every teenager can relate to. Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore play a fantastic part!

My only concern is that this film had a very low running time (79 mins) and it would had been better to make it a bit longer!
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on 28 April 2014
I've been meaning to watch this since it came out and I kick myself for not watching sooner!
No matter how old you are, you will be able to relate to it. Absolutely brilliant, lovely wee film. :)
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on 5 September 2011
I saw this movie at the cinema yesterday and it almost had me in tears. Freddie and Emma are outstanding in this movie and prove they are both going to be around for a very long time. I must menttion that the supporting cast are all fantasic aswell. I think a lot of people will relate to these characters as they try and fit in and find their place in the world. This is a love story with intelligence and depth.
0Comment15 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Art of Getting By (TAOGB) is the story of George (Freddie Highmore - Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) - a fatalist teenager struggling to motivate himself to complete his high school diploma. Acutely aware of his own mortality, he finds it difficult to warrant the reasons to complete his trig homework. Rudderless, he bumps into fellow student, Sally (Emma Roberts - It's Kind of a Funny Story) who finds a kindred spirit in him, however his directionless meanderings might just lose him Sally in the end and George sees a reason to motivate himself.

TAOGB is not a bad film inherently, it's well filmed and the roles are well acted by the capable cast. However, it's the story and it's moral that makes TAOGB a truly awful film; falling far-short of an indie-classics such as Juno, literally nothing of interest happens in the entire 84 minute bit. How on earth this script got passed without a rewrite I have no idea. This is nearly an hour-and-a-half of teenage self-indulgence as George wallows in his angst and uncertainty. Somebody really needed to tell this character to 'snap out of it' and that compared to most people, his problems are truly insignificant and he should be thankful for his privileged position. Instead he whinges, complains and is truly ungrateful for what his parents do for him.

The worst part is that George is so alternative (for alternative read; incapable of functioning in society) and he is held up to us a role-model or an independent-spirit, walking his own path (if doodling incessantly in your expensive textbooks is groundbreaking social progress then we are all doomed). This film makes me worry for high school students that will try to emulate George or any of the other socially-awkward-protagonists that Hollywood spews out at us.

Extras: A couple of featurettes, a director commentary by Gavin Wiesen and the theatrical trailer.

Moral lecturing aside; there is no story-progression at all, you could explain the finer intricacies of the plot on the back of a beer mat and lo' and behold, George gets everything right, vindicating his slacker-mentality and further suggesting we should all be a bit more like him. A cliché, boy-meets-girl, coming of age movie. If that's your thing then fair enough, but honestly, I think you'd be richer for the experience having not seen this movie.
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on 12 May 2014
This film is must see.....totally must see.....beautiful in every way.One of the best films I have seen in a long time. Authentic acting and a story we can all relate to
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The Art of Getting by is the method George use's of coping with the world that he can't quite find his place in. George comes from a fairly wealthy family Manhattan family he is a smart loner, struggling with thoughts and images that he can't quite manage to coalesce into a meaningful reality in his mind. His biggest issue is fear; he says its of Dying but its of Living.

The Art of getting by is the story of George meeting the beautiful Sally at school. In the film they meet as George sacrifices himself to a teacher when she is about to get caught smoking; and Sal insinuates herself into his life. Getting by is the story over the remainder of the school year and its about George desperately trying to figure the world and Sally out.

I love this film for the same reasons I adore Iggy Goes Down; George, Igby and I struggle to relate to (beautiful) people we meet and with the thoughts in our minds and that makes us live partially outside of society; which in getting by is shown through Sal and her friends.

I think there is probably too much of Sal (as clearly talented as Emma Roberts is) and her story and that it dilutes what could have been more dramatic moments of the film and that makes it 4*s rather than 5.
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on 16 May 2013
Compared to many coming of age films, this deals with the real emotions of growing up and having a first love and deciding what to do once you finish school/college/university etc. Freddie Highmore proves to be growing as a dramatic young actor and shows he isn't just the cute little boy from 'Charlie and the Factory' if you like Freddie Highmore watch him in 'Bates Motel'. Emma Roberts also proves to be growing as an actress as she plays a girl who wants a boy friend and not a boyfriend and has a grown up a lot since playing Nancy Drew. This is a very well done for a teen drama and delves a bit deeper into true teenage emotions and angst.
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