February 20, 2020
Based on Joanna Rakoff’s book, this simpering knock-off of The Devil Wears Prada is so wet you could shoot snipe off it
My New York Year (aka My Salinger Year) review – bafflingly insipid literary memoir clunks hard
There’s an unfortunate tradition at Berlin of beginning with a film that clunks hard enough to smash concrete. So it has proved with this bafflingly insipid, zestless, derivative film – a simperingly coy knock-off of The Devil Wears Prada without the sexiness and fun, and so wet that in the immortal words of Molesworth, you could shoot snipe off it.
It is based on Joanna Rakoff’s 2014 memoir My Salinger Year, all about her temp Job at the New York literary agency Harold Ober Associates in the 90s, when she was entrusted with the banal but also near-sacred task of dealing with the fan letters sent to the agency’s most famous and reclusive client: JD Salinger – sifting through them for dangerous weirdos, sending out the standard brush-off reply, and making sure that no one finds out his home address. Rakoff had her own privileged encounter with the great man, experiencing the global love he inspired and inspires, and got a new perspective on what it means to love writers, writing and reading. The story was first developed as a wry, witty piece for BBC Radio 4, then as a widely enjoyed book. Canadian film-maker Philippe Falardeau has adapted Rakoff’s book and directs.
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