The Art of Getting By (2011)



Critic Consensus: A sitcom-level twee mess that bakes in the typical manic pixie dream girl and boring, withdrawn boy hero.

Movie Info

The Art of Getting By stars Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as 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, who is befriended by Sally (Emma Roberts - Scream 4), a beautiful and complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit. -- (C) Fox Searchlight

Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements including sexual content, language, teen drinking and partying.)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Gavin Wiesen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 29, 2011
Box Office: $1.4M
Fox Searchlight - Official Site


as George Zinavoy

as Sally Howe

as Charlotte Howe

as Jack Sargent

as Harris McElroy

as Mrs. Grimes

as Will Sharpe

as Zoe Rubinstein

as Vivian Sargent

as Principal Martinson

as Chastity

as Ms. Dougherty
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Art of Getting By

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Critic Reviews for The Art of Getting By

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (29)

Pathetic. Nothing but an over-privileged filmmaker mining his prep school diaries for narcissistic roleplay.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

Excellent performances by Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts make this one an enjoyable watch.

Full Review… | March 2, 2013
We Got This Covered

Gets by. Barely.

Full Review… | January 4, 2013
Tribune News Service

An easygoing film that's not as quirky as it wants to be and does just enough to make you glad you watched.

Full Review… | December 29, 2011
Movie Metropolis

This film tries to be a rallying cry for the disenfranchised youth of today. Not being a disenfranchised youth of today, it was mostly lost on me.

Full Review… | December 13, 2011
7M Pictures

None of this first feature from writer-director Gavin Wiesen rings true, and most of it is preposterous and self-conscious.

Full Review… | September 13, 2011
Flick Filosopher

Audience Reviews for The Art of Getting By


I'm sure a lot of people could care less about this movie and its characters, but I really had a great connection with it. I think it has a lot to say and really breaks free from just telling a story about another slacker. Freddie Highmore has shifted promoted himself from being the greatest child superstar to the greatest teen superstar. He plays emotions like a fiddle and gives a performance that is completely natural and true to the character. He's shy and naive, but at the same time he knows more than everyone else and just hates the idea of it. I thought it was interesting to have a character that wants to want to care, but doesn't know how. I also thought Emma Roberts did a great job and it's probably the best performance she's given so far. In many ways she's the high school crush that a lot of people had, but not in a glamorized way. She has flaws and weaknesses that are apparent throughout the movie. I'm not going to claim that The Art of Getting By doesn't follow a pattern of angsty teen dramas, but its execution and core is definitely unique. What it says within the formula is so honest and unattractive at times that it really just feels like we're seeing two people's lives and not just a movie. The way it's shot definitely helps out with this. You get a really life-like visual structure that doesn't just simply look good, it makes sense. The job was to center around the characters and this definitely succeeds in doing so. Now i'm sure this will be thrown into the typical indie teen movie that it was disguised as, but it really doesn't have any of those odd cliches. There's no penciled in credits, no overly quirky and weird moments, no exaggeration and no overbearing philosophical meaning. This movie is completely fine with being "normal", and I mean that in the best way possible.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

There's a good film buried somewhere within the poor writing and editing of The Art of Getting By's 80 minute running time, but this isn't it. That's not to say the film doesn't have it's modest charms, but the characters are unlikable and it tries too hard to replicate superior movies and falls flat on an almost scene to scene basis. It's the kind of film that's so smug, you'll be rolling your eyes on the regular... while recognizing that with this likable cast and it's simple coming of age trappings, a good movie was more than possible. THIS movie is too little too late, and will make you wonder why it was made at all.

Michael S

Super Reviewer


Simple but quite sweet romantic movie about teenage crush.. Freddie Highmore getting bigger and older even though his face is still stay young as his famous role in 'Finding Neverland', 'August Rush', or 'The Spiderwick Chronicles'.. Overall, for me this movie flows slowly but if you're not got bored enough then you will be showed with the beauty relationship of George and Sally..

Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

The Art of Getting By Quotes

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