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Review: A Coming-Of-Age Tale Captures You in ‘Coming Through The Rye’

Review: A Coming-Of-Age Tale Captures You in ‘Coming Through The Rye’

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“Coming Through the Rye” is a well-made film!

We all know “The Catcher in the Rye.” Many of us may not have read it or ever flipped through its pages. But everyone has heard of it at some point in their life.

James Steven Sadwith’s latest film, “Coming Through the Rye,” is all about J.D. Salinger’s classic piece of American literature. Although, instead of it being an adaptation of the work, it’s all about one high schooler’s dream to turn his adaptation into a reality.

Alex Wolff as Jamie Schwartz

Alex Wolff as Jamie Schwartz

Insert the high schooler: Jamie Schwartz, our very unlikely hero, who sets off on an emotional and eye-opening journey to find J.D. Salinger. The audience will find many parallels between Jamie and Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of “The Catcher in the Rye.” But the more important parallel they will find, is how their hearts will be just as invested in Jamie’s want to find J.D. Salinger as Jamie’s heart is invested in pursuing his need to discover himself and his place in the world.

Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 4

James Sadwith is a masterful director and writer, creating characters with real human emotions and real life problems. The film’s synopsis raised my expectations quite a bit. Usually when that ends with me being disappointed and angry. Mainly because the trailer/synopsis was better than the final product. When it comes to the filmmaking aspects, I couldn’t be happier with the journey the film gave me. From the crisp cinematography to the realistic characters, “Coming Through the Rye” is a vey well-made film.

Chemistry between the actors isn't good at times.

Chemistry between the actors isn’t good at times.

The low points of the film, for me, come in very critical areas. Now, I’ve seen most of this cast in other films. Therefore, I have prior knowledge of what they are capable of and the incredible talent they possess. And, also important, the chemistry between actors is just as important as having a plot. It doesn’t matter if it’s two “good” actors or two “bad” actors. If there’s no chemistry, then their talent may not come through.

That’s how I felt during several moments of “Coming Through the Rye.” The cast doesn’t play off of each other or fit well together on screen. This created some awkward and dispiriting sequences. And that’s something you don’t want to happen too often in a film. There were deeper meanings beneath some scenes and pieces of dialogue that I wasn’t fully recognizing. To me, that’s because the chemistry between the actors wasn’t working quite the way it needed to, resulting in an emotional block wrapping itself around the scenes/sequences.

Regardless of the faulty chemistry, wonderful characters are still presented on screen.

Regardless of the faulty chemistry, wonderful characters are still presented on screen.

Still, this didn’t hide or cover up the incredible soundtrack, beautiful locations, and wonderful characters Sadwith created. There are still times where the actors do work well together. Especially in the last act of the film, when we get to see inside the internal journeys of the characters. Although, having a weird fluctuation within the chemistry doesn’t save the fact that some sequences and scenes felt minimal and awkward.

Entertainment Value – 3

The faulty chemistry between the actors did mess with my enjoyment of the film. That’s because I critique every little crevice of a film… which has made me hate some movies I used to call my favorites.

"Coming Through the Rye" has a great story.

“Coming Through the Rye” has a great story.

Regardless of that, “Coming Through the Rye” is a great story about a great character who wants to give the world something great. It will make you laugh, cry, and root for the lovable protagonist caught inside a not so lovable world. I personally loved watching Jamie Schwartz get from point A to point B, all while discovering every internal tidbit in between. A smile will grace your face when you see his completed character arc. And during the film’s final few sequences, you’ll find yourself realizing you’ve discovered something about yourself while tagging along side Jamie.

Re-Watchability – 2

I’m not saying I’m “never” going to watch this movie again, but it’s not up on my list to buy it on Blu-Ray or save it to my list on Netflix.

I’ll suggest it to other people because it’s a great watch if you’re indecisive on a random weeknight.

  • Cinematics
  • Entertainment Value
  • Rewatchability

Summary

James Sadwith is a masterful director and writer, creating characters with real human emotions and real life problems. The film's synopsis raised my expectations quite a bit. Usually when that ends with me being disappointed and angry. Mainly because the trailer/synopsis was better than the final product. When it comes to the filmmaking aspects, I couldn’t be happier with the journey the film gave me. From the crisp cinematography to the realistic characters, “Coming Through the Rye” is a vey well-made film.

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About The Author

Matt

Seeing "Stand By Me" at the age of 6 solidified Matt's ambition to be a part of the entertainment industry. After growing up in Northern Virginia, studying film at Old Dominion University and rising from intern to Stage Manager at a Dinner Theater, Matt found himself at a speed bump in his life and wanting to express himself in more of a substantial way than calling a cue or flying a line every night. This need for creative expression pushed him to take on the challenge of getting a Master's Degree, which sent him on a year-long endeavor that seemed to throw obstacles and setbacks from every direction. But now, Matt is a screenwriter with a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a passion for film, video games and professional wrestling, looking to keep the ambitious 6-year-old inside of him alive by entertaining the world through various forms of entertainment.

  • Donny W

    Can’t put much faith in a review that makes specific critiques (such as “poor chemistry between actors”) but gives no examples to illustrate the point, Generalizations such as this mean nothing to me. Most of the reviews I’ve read about this film are very good and, more importantly, reference specific scenes in the movie to justify their views. I, for one, can hardly wait to see it! Unfortunately, I’m in a part of the country (NC) where I will have to wait for it to be available on DVD/BluRay or digital download or streaming since it is unlikely to be playing in any local theatres.

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