By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Clearly, director Malcolm Clark and writer Sean Kanan (an actor by day, not a writer, and no friggin' duh) wanted to adapt J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, like thousands of other would-bes and wannabes before them. When they figured out that wasn't going to happen, they instead stole and claimed "homage." Only this bastard's as phony as any Holden Caulfield encountered on his trip to the asylum; it steals from the original and sells it back to the audience at discount prices (it cost me more to watch it than it did to make it). DJ Qualls (Road Trip, The New Guy) is, ahem, the new guy at the same prep school his older brother attended; he's gawky and geeky but nonetheless tough, a Catcherfan emboldened by his hero's reluctance to take shit from the frauds. But Qualls' Neil, the son of the New York governor, is fake-tough; the actor is all arms and legs and nose and, therefore, is built strictly for comedy. He's a smoker, a lover (he wows and woos Rachel Blanchard, another Road Tripper), a pompous bore through and through; he's the kind of guy who believes Salinger will talk to him after years in exile, because he'sthe biggest Catcherfan and, hence, a kindred spirit. The whole thing's bland and manipulative, down to the condescending score that doesn't let you breathe or think; it feels for you. So do I, if you see this.
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