I admit to being thrown off by the rave reviews here, because I found this movie utterly dull and not at all moving or evocative. To the degree it may have touched on the coming-of-age experience, it did so because of cliche scenes and plot lines recycled from every movie you have seen about young people. The writing suffers from the fault of telling rather than showing; we hear all about Jamie's masterful writing and intelligence, yet see none of it for ourselves.
There is no clever, insightful, or witty dialogue, and viewers never truly see Jamie's personality because it is overwhelmed by his obsession with and kowtowing to Salinger in a way that is uncomfortable to the viewer. I couldn't connect or sympathize with the character, a problem compounded by actor Alex Wolff's performance falling flat. Lackluster music intensified the lethargy.
The central problem, I think, is the film's autobiographical conceit. The story here could be interesting if executed with panache: aspiring and troubled boy seeks out reclusive author, receives golden wisdom. But the film's relentless desire to project Jamie as a hero refuses the more interesting (and believable) denouement, a glorious letdown as a teenager comes to realizes his skills are no match for J.D. Salinger and he is not ready for the real world. Instead the film takes Jamie's skills for granted, even though, as he himself admits, all he has done is re-write a novel with some abridgments and added stage directions.
I am shocked not that the screenwriter/director, James Sadwith, actually thought as a teenager he would be the one to receive Salinger's permission to produce an adaptation, because ambitious teenagers think this way. They inflate their sense of self. What shocks me is that Sadwith never learned his lesson, never became more self-aware. He became convinced in retrospect that he really had produced something grand and the world needed to see his story on screen. The film is a sort of end-run around Salinger's interdiction, offering up Sadwith's own Holden Caulfieldesque journey as if it can compete with Salinger's hero; can prove the famous author made a mistake in rebuffing him; can appeal to great fans of the classic novel.
Ultimately, in attempting to take a place on the pedestal with Salinger, Sadwith trips on the man's coattails.
Coming Through the Rye
Coming Through the Rye
Coming Through the Rye, set in 1969, is a touching coming of age story of sensitive, 16 yr. old Jamie Schwartz, who is not the most popular kid at his all boys' boarding school. Disconnected from students and teachers, he believes he is destined to play Holden Caulfield, the main character of The Catcher in the Rye, and has adapted the book as a play. After a series of increasingly hostile altercations with the boys at school Jamie runs away to search for JD Salinger. On his way he picks up Deedee Gorlin, a quirky townie. Their odyssey to find Salinger becomes a journey of sexual awakening, the discovery of love and of the meaning of one's life.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 10, 2020 at 12:57 AM