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The Art of Getting By [2011] [PG-13] - 4.3.5



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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An artistic but fatalistic teen (Freddie Highmore) enters his senior year of high school without completing any actual work. That's when he meets a popular girl (Emma Roberts) and his life becomes even more complicated. Also with Michael Angarano, Sash Spielberg, Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson and Alicia Silverstone, Directed by Gavin Wiesen. [1:24]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A teen girl laughs and stares at a sleeping teen boy (in a separate bed); she continues laughing and we see the outline of a bulge at the boy's crotch covered by a blanket (it is implied to be an erection). A teen girl is seen lying, fully clothed, in a bed while watching a young man (it is implied that they have had sex).
 A teen girl and a teen boy kiss for an extended period of time. A teen girl and a young man kiss. A teen boy kisses a teen girl and she pushes him away. A young man kisses a teen girl and she pulls away.
 A man and a woman kiss as a teen boy and a teen girl watch; the woman wraps herself in a robe (no nudity is visible) and implies to the teen that she had sex with the man the previous night.
 A teen girl removes her shirt as a teen boy watches and we see her bare back (her bra strap is visible) as she pulls on a T-shirt.
 A teen girl and a teen boy dance suggestively; the girl's arms are wrapped around the boy's neck. A teen girl holds a young man's hand, tries to dance with him and he pulls away. A teen girl holds a teen boy's hand as they walk.
 A teen boy stares longingly at a teen girl and jokes that he dislikes his own hormones. A teen boy tells a teen girl that he needs to have "one on one" time with her, implying sex, and she ignores his advances. A teen girl asks a teen boy if he has had sex, he says he has not and the girl asks if he "thinks" about her, implying in a sexual manner. A teen girl asks a teen boy if he would like to have sex with her, and then changes the subject immediately. A young man asks a teen boy if he had sex with a teen girl, the teen boy says he has not and the young man suggests the teen boy kiss the teen girl and see if she kisses back. A woman tells a teen boy and a teen girl (her daughter) that ticklish people are "great lovers" and their entire bodies are erogenous. A teen girl jokes with a teen boy that he will have to sleep with multiple girls. A teen girl tells a teen boy that she had sexually promiscuous friends she could introduce him to. A teenage boy teases a teenage girl saying that she had "lots of valentines." A teen girl tells a teen boy that she thinks his stepfather is meeting up for a "lover's rendezvous" and mentions that her former stepfather had multiple affairs.
 We see various nude figure drawings made by a teen boy, including the bare buttocks and back of a man, the bare back of a man and the bare chest of a man.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man lunges at a teen boy (his step-son), the boy fights back and they wrestle on the floor; the man wraps his arms around the boy's shoulders, the boy slams the man into a doorway, and he falls to the ground, clutches his chest and we later learn that the man had broken his collarbone.
 An older man shoves a teen boy away jokingly and then hugs him.
 A teen boy shouts at a man. A man shouts at a teen boy. A teen boy shouts at his mother. A teen girl shouts at a teen boy. A mother shouts at her teen son. A teen boy overhears his mother and stepfather arguing in another room. A teen boy tells a teen girl that society is going downhill, giving the examples of tsunamis and warfare. A teen girl tells a teen boy that she is afraid of death. A teen girl asks a teen boy if he has any guns and the boy disregards her question. A young man jokes that he felt like "it was Nagasaki in there," in reference to a classroom. A teen boy is heard during a voiceover saying that over 60,000,000 people die annually. A teen boy is heard during a voiceover stating that people are constantly close to dying. A teen boy tells a woman that he is depressed because he was thinking about death and the woman responds that everyone dies. A man jokes that a teenage boy could make a painting out of animal feces.
 A teen boy vomits profusely: we see vomit pouring out of his mouth and he coughs, and vomit and spittle drip from his mouth; we later see him passed out next to the pile of vomit.

PROFANITY 5 - At least 1 F-word, 7 sexual references, 7 scatological terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (fatalist, weird, Basqiat, pervasive, dork, skanky, crazy, Cold War spy, terrifying old man, obnoxious, little hussy, sadistic, treacherous, deeply disrespectful, loser, derivative, blowhard, angrier than a pit bull, veal, pathetic), exclamations (heck, shut up), 6 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A teen boy tells a teen girl that he had tried the drugs Lexapro and Ritalin. Throughout the movie we see teenagers drinking alcohol, including drinking shots of liquor at a club, drinking beer at a bar, ordering alcohol at restaurants and giving one another bottles of champagne and sharing them, a woman gives a teenage boy and her own teen daughter beer and gives a teen boy an alcoholic mixed drink, a teen boy drinks to the point of drunkenness (he vomits and passes out on the street), men and women are seen holding glasses of wine, a woman drinks wine and encourages drinking with a teenage boy, and a young man tells a classroom of teens that he was hung over when he accepted a phone call. A teen boy smokes a cigarette, a teen girl smokes a cigarette, a man is seen smoking cigarettes, and a man tells a teen boy that he cannot smoke on a school's campus.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Disappointment, depression, underachievers, the influence of relationships on people, apathy, perseverance, underage drinking, underage smoking, divorce, domestic violence, unemployment.

MESSAGE - Life can be confusing sometimes and it helps to have supportive friends and family.

Special Keywords: S4 - V3 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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