¨I read a quote once when I was a kid "We live alone, We die alone. Everything else is just an illusion." it used to keep me up at night. ¨
That is the quote that the main character in this film adopts as his own, and makes him see everything he does as pointless. George (Freddie Highmore) goes through high school as a lonely kid who doesn’t even worry about doing any homework or paying attention in class. He simply draws and scribbles things on his books and pads without socializing with anyone. He seems like a depressed kid, but his life changes when he befriends Sally (Emma Roberts), one of the popular kids in his school. Sally realizes that there is more to George, he`s a kind kid and they soon become good friends. George begins to pay attention more in school and suddenly becomes involved in the social life despite remaining a strange but loveable kid. Sally introduces him to her circle, which consist of Zoe (Sasha Spielberg) and Will (Marcus Carl Franklin). Will likes George’s drawings so he gets him to design the invitation for a special party their going to throw. George still continues to have a hard time relating to his mother Vivian (Rita Wilson) and his step father, but Sally has brought a sense of purpose to his life. He even surprises his literature teacher, Ms. Herman (Alicia Silverstone), by participating in class. George also befriends an ex alumni who has become a successful mainstream artist named Dustin (Michael Angarano) who becomes some sort of mentor to George. Despite being advised by Dustin to express his feelings towards Sally, he is reluctant to do so and after an awkward conversation with her he begins to lock himself out from everyone again. Will George find it in him to express his feelings towards Sally? Will he even be able to graduate from High School?
I loved this small indie film that mixed comedy with drama and romance. It was surprising to see Freddie Highmore so grown up since I was a huge fan of his early work in August Rush, Finding Neverland, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He was one of my favorite child actors who I was looking forward to seeing in the future. He is great in this film combining a perfect mix of a depressed teenager with a kind and noble one. It is a hard thing to achieve because most of the time it`s hard to care for these kind of characters who seem to be social outcasts with no real likeability. He shares great chemistry with Emma Roberts as well. I felt that their friendship was authentic and real and loved the scenes they shared together. This was a surprising movie for me that I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I did. The Art of Getting By is director Gavin Wiesen`s first feature film and he gives us a gorgeous movie with beautiful photography. I will be looking forward to this filmmaker`s next projects. The movie also received a lot of love last year in the Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated by the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Picture. I usually tend to be a sucker for these small independent romantic comedies, and it reminded me a lot of another movie I enjoyed as well that also starred Emma Roberts, It`s Kind of a Funny Story. If you enjoyed that movie then you will want to check this movie out as well. It`s a very emotional and uplifting story, I had no trouble with the pacing or the performances. I could watch it again without hesitation.