Wednesday, June 29, 2011

artless Art

I tried publishing this last night but Blogger had other plans.

These were my options for tonight: 1.) Go see Transformers 3; 2.) Stay at home and watch episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix; or 3.) Go see this movie:

Why do movie trailers have to be two and a half minute condensations of the movie being advertised? You have now just seen the entire movie.

I chose option #3, I saw The Art of Getting By. This movie got pretty terrible reviews -- 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. I knew that going in, so I wasn't expecting much. And while Rotten Tomatoes does a pretty good job of telling how good the movie is, it's not an indicator of whether or not I will like the movie.

That said, this movie was neither terrible nor great. About half an hour into the movie I leaned over to my friend Afton and whispered, referring to the dialog, "I feel like I could've written this movie." Which means that either I have a future career as a screenwriter, or the script was pretty bad. (But if Hollywood is making poorly scripted movies then it really does mean I have a career as a screenwriter.)

Beside the poor dialog (which does improve), my two biggest complaints about the movie were these:

One: Teenage drinking. Some teens drink. I get that. In movies, I don't have a problem with that. But these are teens, high school seniors, drinking at bars. On three separate occasions. The first time, I let it slide. But two other times, we see teenage characters at bars, drinking. How many mainstream bars in New York City serve teenagers?

Two: Why the predictable Hollywood ending? I mean, it's a Fox Searchlight picture, it's not gonna be a summer blockbuster, so why give it the artless romantic comedy ending? Without giving away too many details, George, the protag, didn't need to get the girl for the movie to have had a strong resolution. In fact, the film would've been so much stronger if their relationship had been left up in the air. The movie wasn't about them, it was about George finding himself and his passion.

Regardless, I still liked the movie. I could relate to George's anxiety, his struggle to express himself, and his dispassionate, objective way of viewing things. And while Emma Roberts' character, Sally, causes a fair amount of trouble for George (she is referred to as "hussy" on more than one occasion), you can't help but like her because Emma herself is pretty adorable.

So yeah. The Art Of Getting By. Not good, not bad. Whatever it was or wasn't, it apparently moved me enough to come home and blog about it. I doubt I'd be saying as much for Transformers 3.


  1. The other thing that bugs me about movie trailers is when they give a false portrayal of the movie inorder to attract different audiences. I have often procrastinated seeing a movie because the preview made it looks lame. When I actually see the movie, I find I actually like it and am disappointed that the trailer didn't do a good job.

  2. I think it if trailers were just shorter in general that would be less of a problem.