Qualls stars as Neil, son of the governer of New York(!), sent to prep school at the age of 19 (yeah, don't try to think about it) after a stint in a mental hospital. After a whirlwind experience with bullies, Dead Poets Society-style rules, and meeting the girl of his dreams (Rachel Blanchard, another Road Tripper), he is handed the assignment of his dreams: Write a story telling what happened to Holden Caulfield after the end of Catcher in the Rye, Neil's favorite book (of course).
Soon enough, Neil has become so obsessed with the project that he's invited the girl on another road trip... up to New Hampshire to track down J.D. Salinger and ask him face to face what happened next. Of course, he steals a gun and gets into all kinds of trouble on the way, just like Holden Caulfield might do. Hint, hint.
The parallels to Catcher are obvious, but the masterful plot and character development of the book are hard to find in this strange and creepy homage. Qualls is just too odd looking to accept in such a downer role, and the script has virtually no humor in it to make palatable the heavy issues of suicide, morbid stalking, and brain aneurysms.
The film itself is reasonably well made, shot in the big city or the thick snow, but good costumes and a decent shot list can't overcome the real downer of a story... a story with no message in the end except to say, "No, you aren't Holden Caulfield."
Run time: 104 mins
In Theaters: Monday 20th January 2003
Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
IMDB: 5.2 / 10
Director: Malcolm Clarke
Screenwriter: Sean Kanan