The Art of Getting By follows a lonely, slightly depressed teenage boy in his senior year of high school when he meets a more normal teenage girl and they become friends.
The soundtrack was pretty good. But it seemed like it was just using lot's of indie songs without really caring about them. I'm not entirely sure how to explain it, but with a lot of soundtracks like this the music generally tends to have some significance to the movie, whether that be the tone of the movie or something else. The soundtrack didn't suit the tone of this movie at all. All the songs were there because the director (or whoever was in charge) knew that teenagers and all the pretentious hipsters who watch this movie would like it. And yes, I'm one of those pretentious hipsters, which is why I liked it. But regardless, there's a difference between having a good soundtrack and a good soundtrack that suits the movie.
I like the title quite a bit. It's catchy, and it has relevance to the movie, specifically the characters. A lot of romantic dramas like this have titles about the events of the movie and not so much about the characters themselves, but the ones about the characters tend to be much better and more meaningful. It's clear that somebody cared about this movie enough to put a level of thought into it.
Also, Emma Roberts. I haven't really seen any movies with her in them, but she's a beauty. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her face throughout this movie, as weird as that may sound. As for her acting talent, well, that could use some serious work.
It was hard for me to discern whether the acting was bad or the writing. I figure it's a combination of both. Freddie Highmore is one of the better performances, but again, I can't tell if the writing is bad or if he is. Either way I was disappointed, I like Highmore a lot, specifically in Bates Motel where he plays a character somewhat similar to the one in this movie. Everyone else is just kind of okay, but mostly mediocre.
Holy moly, the biggest problem with this movie is the pacing. It's pretty boring, or at least incredibly uninteresting. Not only that, it's extremely rushed. I really liked the first ten minutes, it introduced Emma Roberts' character in a subtle way that I haven't seen before, and I really liked that. But the second she and Highmore officially meet it goes straight down the toilet bowl. Their relationship is incredibly rushed, with them suddenly being best friends within a couple days. I understand that sometimes people just click with each other right off the bat, but even then it takes time to develop a real relationship. This movie doesn't have that. It just jumps right in to it. Maybe if they had better chemistry I'd be more forgiving, but they really don't have much. I think they could work well together in a better movie, but not in this one. There was one part when they first start hanging out when Highmore's characters asks Roberts something right out of the blue. No context, no previous information given to us as the audience to even know that the context of this question was a thing. It made sense when I thought a bit more about it, but still. It was really out of the blue and random.
There were a couple side characters that were treated with some level of importance from time to time, like we as an audience were supposed to care. But these characters only showed up when it was convenient for the story, so they were never really developed. And yet here they are, crying away and expecting us to care. It's actually the same case with the main characters. I didn't care about any of them because they were so rushed. Then this conflict pops up at one point towards the end and every character makes this massive assumption about the situation that I never would have, nor do I think anyone else would. And yet that assumption turned out to be correct. Funny thing is, that scene was also super underdeveloped and rushed. What a surprise.
Throughout the story Highmore's character acts in ways that I am certain are hinting at his slight depression. I don't really have any knowledge on mental health, but even I could figure this out. Yet the characters in the movie are so incredibly heartless and stupid about it. Highmore has a legitimate reason for something involving his depression and his superiors make fun of him for it (yes, there is a scene where he is referred to as 'pathetic' for being depressed). Seriously? I excused it the first time because I know some people are too stupid even to see something like that, but then it happens again. Normally it doesn't get on my nerves when I dislike a character, but in this case it was just sheer stupidity and lack of understanding of people on the part of the writers.
Overall The Art of Getting By is absolute trash. Thankfully it's only about 80 minutes long, but it's a drag to sit through. Every minute painstakingly slides along a lengthy stretch of 30 grit sandpaper with nails and poisonous thorns sprinkled across, whilst indie music plays in the background. In the end I wouldn't recommend this movie.