REVIEW: The Art of Getting By

18 06 2011

I never thought I would be so thankful for Woody Allen’s brand of cynicism and misanthropy than I did when leaving “The Art of Getting By,” an indie comedy revolving around a budding romance between two unlikable NYC teenagers.  This lame attempt at comedy is like watching the first draft of a script that Allen wrote on downers; it has all of his nihilism but none of his neuroses.  Gavin Weisen’s first feature lacks the palatability that makes Woody Allen’s personality bearable, and in just 85 minutes, he’ll make you wish you were sitting in a cookie-cutter rom-com.  (Yes, it’s actually that bad!)

Freddie Highmore, who you know from “Finding Neverland” and Tim Burton’s disastrous remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” is now moody and emo because bangs cover his eyes and he reads Camus in the cafeteria.  As George, he’s a mopey defeatist who has Woody Allen-level pessimism at the age of 18.  He’s totally detached from school, doing no work, and from home, where he refuses to communicate with his caring mother (Rita Wilson).  Even on the verge of suspension and expulsion, he can’t bring himself to put anything on his homework other than demented doodles.

Enter Emma Roberts as his desert flower Sally, the child of a broken marriage who shares some of the same bitterness and insecurities as George without wearing it on her sleeves.  They begin a strange friendship that teeters on the brink of love, but he can’t ever snap out of his negativity and she can’t seem to say much other than “you’re really weird.”  It’s really uncomfortable, filled with poorly executed melodrama and even less appealing romance.  If there was any attempt at comedy, it wasn’t even visible.  By the end, you’ll discover that “The Art of Getting By” can’t even leave you with a half-hearted smile like other disappointing romantic comedies.  All you really feel is a slight numbness in your butt as you climb out of the seat.  C- / 

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2 responses

27 06 2011
5plitreel

Why is Emma Roberts considered an up-and-coming actress again? Blah .. nepotism.

27 06 2011
Marshall

That pretty much hits the nail on the head.

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