Shane Salerno—screenwriter of Alien vs. Predator: Requiem and a consulting producer on CBS TV’s Hawaii Five-O reboot—directed this godawful documentary, a salacious tabloid-style portrait of J.D. Salinger. The movie has little to say about Salinger’s contribution to American literature, but plenty to tell us about his celebrity and romantic infatuation with teenage girls. Any insights the film has to impart about the writing process are delivered in embarrassingly literal fashion, such as having an actor stare sullenly at a typewriter to illustrate Salinger’s writer’s block. The most appalling moment may come near the end, when the filmmakers remind us for no good reason that Mark David Chapman cited Catcher in the Rye as inspiration for shooting John Lennon—having run out of fresh gossip, Salerno empties out the trash bin.
PG-13 • 2 hours 9 min • 2013