51: The Art of Getting By

The Art of Getting By – January 23, 2011
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Rita Wilson
Written and directed by: Gavin Wiesen

The plot: “George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who’s made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.” – IMDB

My thoughts: If I have to watch another movie about an intelligent but not-living-up-to-his-potential, friendless but nothing really not likable about him, falling in love with the first girl who talks to him and teaches him that there’s more to life than just being pessimistic and aloof, self-proclaimed weird kid or loner, I’m going to stick my eyeballs with forks. (Even though I guess I don’t have to watch anything, but you know what I mean.)

Not a fan of this movie but that’s probably because it’s been made dozens of times and it’s been done better. George is an artist (but is he really? Because *gasp* I’d never really considered myself an artist, just a doodler even though they’re fan-fucking-tastic and everyone – literally everyone – tells me they’re great) who totally realizes that there’s more to life than homework and of course he can skate by without doing anything or having any friends because that’s how everyone who knows anything about anything lives their lives. And of course, George is also hyper-intelligent and says things that no adult says in real life. I went to high school for four years and I never once encountered a kid who said shit like, “And there you go with the mind games, treacherous, sadistic little hussy” and if he did, I would have punched him in the mouth.

And then there’s Sally. A toned-down manic pixie dream girl, but an MPDG regardless. Oh, she’s totally just like him even though she has friends and goes to parties and is pretty, but underneath all of that, she sees the trouble with people and just wants someone who really gets her. All the same, we never really learn anything about her except for her weird relationship with her parents. What does she do? I don’t know. What does she like? I think she likes magically getting served at bars despite definitely not looking 21 and saying the God-awful line of “I love this song” while talking to a guy at said bar.

They get together. I’m spoiling it for you, but let’s get real, do these movies ever end differently? George gets his heart broken because he thought that Sally was cool with just being “whatever” and waiting around until he figured his shit out and made a real move, so she gets a boyfriend. And this causes much distress for George – so much so that he listens to the same song for 12 hours (for real, from dinner time until morning) on his iPod (and rather than setting the fucking thing to repeat, he proceeds to click the ‘back’ button every time the song ends. Feel free to wallow but stop being a dumbass about it. And he doesn’t even listen to the song with his headphones in so his parents have to deal with melodramatic, hormonal bullshit.)

The only redeeming thing about this movie was the soundtrack, so it can have one star. Otherwise, this movie was uninspired, boring, and at this point, the high school loner meets beautiful, vivacious girl who somehow likes him plot is overdone to the point of me preferring eye-gouging to having to endure it for the millionth time.

Stars: 1/5


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