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Not much to The Art of Getting By

Slacker teen drama mistakes quirky for interesting


Gavin Wiesen’s drama about a slacker teen exhibits the opposite flaw as its main character. Whereas high school senior George (Freddy Highmore) is a baby-faced deer who sees life as a series of paralysis-inducing headlights, the film itself is far too confident in its studied indie-ness. George is outfitted with an oversized overcoat, a family going broke and a crush on the popular Sally (Emma Roberts), who inexplicably takes an interest in him. It’s a friendship to which George would like to add benefits, but he’s too cowed to make a move, and distracted by the fact that his school is finally threatening to fail him for his refusal to do any work. Easy to pity but hard to root for, the lead character is emblematic of how Wiesen mistakes quirky for interesting.

Related Film

The Art of Getting By

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Director: Gavin Wiesen

Writer: Gavin Wiesen

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Elizabeth Reaser, Sam Robards, Alicia Silverstone, Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson, Jarlath Conroy and Sophie Curtis

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