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The Art of Getting By

Where to Watch The Art of Getting By


The Art of Getting By is a 2011 American romantic drama film directed by Gavin Wiesen and starring Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts and Michael Angarano. The film portrays the story of George Zinavoy (Highmore) and Sally Howe (Roberts), two seemingly disparate high school students whose lives intersect in unexpected ways, leading to a journey of self-discovery, romance, and heartache.

Set amidst the backdrop of a bustling New York City, the film centers on George Zinavoy, a high school senior who sees himself as a unique, somewhat existential teen. He's brilliant and artistic, but indifferent to most of the routine and structure that school imposes. With his crisp English accent and dedication to doodling and daydreaming, it’s easy to see just how far removed he feels from his typical, over-achieving classmates. As he tangles with the pressures and expectations that the world puts on young adults, George manages to avoid the demands of school by failing to turn in his assignments, which raises the ire of the school's administration.

George's world drastically changes when he encounters Sally Howe, a beautiful, charming, and complicated girl who's well-liked by her peers. George becomes enamored with Sally, and she becomes his reason for attending school, and for confronting the self-imposed obstacles that have so far defined his high school experience. As their friendship blossoms, Sally serves as a mirror for George—helping him confront his thoughts about mortality, connections with others, responsibilities and the very meaning of life.

The two form an unlikely friendship as they navigate the chaos of the senior school year, full of pressures from parents, teachers, and the impending journey into adulthood. However, it's the introduction of Dustin (Michael Angarano), a successful artist, that shakes up George's world and challenges his perceptions about love, relationships, and his future.

The Art of Getting By is a poignant exploration of the tumultuous adolescent journey, expressed through sincere performances by its young leads. Freddie Highmore delivers a strong performance as George, perfectly capturing the earnest, introspective, and slightly lost teenager who's at odds with the world. Emma Roberts is impressively authentic as Sally, the more socially adept teenager who is dealing with her struggles. There is a compelling chemistry between the two, which lets the audience become entwined with the characters’ emotional arcs.

Michael Angarano, as Dustin, also deserves a mention for adding an interesting dynamic. He is a character that further expands George's world, offering a glimpse into what a potential future as an artist might look like, while also complicating the emotion-scape with his interest in Sally.

The film paints an interesting picture of teen life—not so much about the wild parties and formative moments often depicted in similar dramas, but rather focuses on the quiet introspection, the trials of young love, and finding one’s own path in the face of societal and parental expectations. The film's title, "The Art of Getting By," is reflective of the contents—it's about surviving and finding redemption amid the challenges of growing up.

Visually, the film captures New York City as not just a locale, but a critical part of the narrative—the bustling streets, towering skyscrapers, chaotic subways, and serene parks under snow all play key roles in the development of George and Sally's relationship. The music, too, is thoughtfully integrated, reinforcing the mood of the scenes and the emotions of the characters.

Director Gavin Wiesen creates a thought-provoking, nuanced coming-of-age narrative with a depth that belies its teenage subject matter. The screenplay is intelligent and deeply sensitive, bringing forth authentic dialogue that speaks to the complexity of young love and teenage existentialism.

To sum it up, The Art of Getting By brims with authenticity, delivering a compelling story about the daunting transition from adolescence to adulthood, the struggle to find individual identity amid societal expectations, and the bittersweet experience of first love—all packaged within a charming, highly relatable narrative.

The Art of Getting By is a Drama, Romance movie released in 2011. It has a runtime of 84 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5. It also holds a MetaScore of 36.

How to Watch The Art of Getting By

Where can I stream The Art of Getting By movie online? The Art of Getting By is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Art of Getting By for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Gavin Wiesen
Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Alicia Silverstone, Elizabeth Reaser, Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson
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