Coming Through the Rye | Chicago Reader

Coming Through the Rye

J.D. Salinger refused to let anyone adapt his novel The Catcher in the Rye for the stage or screen, and his intransigence provides the through line for this lovely semi-autobiographical drama (2015) from writer-director James Sadwith. Alex Wolff stars as a sensitive, bullied misfit who so worships Salinger's adolescent hero Holden Caulfield that he has written a theatrical adaptation of the book for his prep school, but to stage it, he must win the reclusive novelist's blessing. Stefania LaVie Owen plays the charming classmate who drives the hero to New Hampshire, hoping to steer him out of harm's way and into her arms. The film's send-up of youthful obsession is sweet and funny, and its depiction of first love and buried pain is moving. As Salinger, Chris Cooper is persuasively flinty, irritated by his headstrong fan but understanding of him too.

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