Opening 29 Sep 2011
Director/Script: Gavin Wiesen, With: Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson
Up to his senior year 17-year old George (Highmore) masters “the art of getting by”. He refuses politely but stubbornly to do his assignments or participate voluntarily in class: “You live alone, you die alone – everything in between is an illusion” is how he justifies not applying himself. He is intelligent, sensitive and insightful and that’s why his unusually well-meaning teachers at a NYC prep school will give him one very last chance to graduate. Relationships don’t figure in his fatalistic view either. But “life happens”. Sally (Roberts), a beautiful and outgoing classmate befriends him; he falls for her but is scared to death to let her know or fight for her when he should. What this self-described “Teflon-slacker” – immune to shrinks, Retilin or tutors – needs are a few wake-up calls to get him out of this funk. The desire to be true to himself paralyzes him but also makes him feel kind of superior in a narcissistic way. Obviously he feels a kinship to Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye – a book that seems to be a little bit too demonstrative his constant companion: a “bumper-sticker” and a cry for help.
Parallels to Mike Nichols’ The Graduate come to mind as well, where a young man after finishing college refuses to fulfill anybody’s but his own expectation, and once he has found out what that might be, becomes cautiously optimistic about his future. (Carola A)