Lonely, existentially-lost boy meets popular-but-dissatisfied girl, creating an unlikely friendship that provides each with the missing piece of their emotionally adrift souls.

Okay, so the basic plot line of 'The Art of Getting By' may not be very original, but that doesn't mean it can't be pretty, fun and maybe even a little bit inspiring, stirring the inner teenager in all of us, whether we read 'The Catcher in the Rye' or 'Gossip Girl.'

Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts take the guy and girl roles in the new film from writer/director Gavin Wiesen, a Sundance selection that originally was billed as 'Homework.' It was a fitting title -- Highmore plays George, a high school senior with a dim outlook on life and an even dimmer academic record, eschewing what he calls pointless homework for doodling and painting. Roberts takes on Sally, the popular girl who yearns for something more.


It's a return to a very familiar genre and storyline for Roberts, who, before watching the blood fly in 'Scream 4,' starred in 'It's Kind of a Funny Story,' about a disturbed teenage guy who finds Roberts as a love interest.

It's a big step for Highmore, who starred in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 'The Golden Compass,' and as the voice of Astroboy.

Michael Angarano and Elizabeth Reaser co-star as adults of varying integrity.

'The Art of Getting By' will be released in theaters, in limited selection on Friday, June 17.