The Art of Getting By (Movie…Not Advice!)

Ok let’s talk about last night’s film The Art of Getting By. I was the only person in the cinema…50 seats all to myself. Normally I go to the movies every Sunday on my own but until I got to my friend’s place following the screening for tea I didn’t fully realize how tender I’d been the last few days. Sitting by myself in a dark room was both great and sad.

So…here we go…

The boy—the main character George—is a Teflon Slacker…an artist who constantly rebels at school and whose teachers give him second, third and more chances to do the work because they know how great he could be. When he finally decides to the work he opens a can of Coke because he’s getting down to business. Fine.

George is a fatalist…which means he has no hope (Q: did I become a cliché along the way?). Which means when he meets the blonde girl—Emma Roberts (aka Sally in the movie)—he starts to love her…deeply but you can’t love someone deeply without hoping for them…hoping for yourself. It shuts him down…and eventually wrecks him. Damn.

He wasn’t the only person broken and flawed in this movie…everyone was.

Sally couldn’t handle his genuine love so she wanted to be loved the only way she knew how to be loved…sex. He refused, yeah! but it was a breakdown. As the movie closes they eventually get together…but Sally lets him go…she wants him to go off and be this amazing artist. Oh Sally’s best friend is called…Zoe. Yup. The main couple weren’t the only ones to break up.

2 other couples both married in the movie got divorced. Rita Wilson said on her divorce, “You have to maintain happiness, take good care of it or else it’ll be gone.”

Nobody knew how to handle love or pain or be loved. Everyone was stuck in this uncomfortable painful present basically begging for a ray of hope (knowing how uncomfortable hope makes them feel). It sounds really depressing but I dunno…it’s life.

It’s not a romantic comedy…Julia Roberts makes romantic comedies. I went online today to see comments on the film…every comment has the word bawling or crying or tears in it. The song at the end is The Trial of the Century by The French Kicks, a band I really like…it was so right…as Sally was letting him go…she thought it was the most loving thing to do…let him go…let him be free.

Is that the most loving thing to do?

Really I shoulda just gone to Hangover II and called it a night.


Also published on Medium.

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