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Art of Getting By, The


Stars: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, Sam Robards, Marcus Carl Franklin, Sasha Spielberg, Alicia Silverstone

Director: Gavin Wiesen

Charismatic young stars in average film. The teaming of former child stars Highmore, still looking 14 but now nearly six feet tall, and Roberts would seem to be box-office gold. And so it might be, with another script. As it is, sub-teen girls would seem to be the most likely audience.

Alienated teen George (Highmore), interested only in art and depressed at the thought of dying, connects with fellow student Sally (Roberts), when he shields her from being caught smoking on school premises. Both have problem parents - her sex-mad mother (Reaser), his bankrupt stepfather (Robards) - but George is unable to any more express his feelings for Sally than he is able to do his schoolwork, and she goes off with a semi-successful artist (Angarano, failing to make anything out of a pretty negative part).

The leads, Highmore in particular, will surely go on to better things than this weakly-written film, which does indeed just about get by.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Technicolor.
84 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 28 Aug 2011