Usually called a gap year, a high school or college aged person will go on an adventure to seek out fun or finding one’s self. In Phillippe Falardeau’s My Saligner Year, he helps bring Joanna Smith Rakoff’s book to screen.
Working in a NYC publisher’s house, Joanna (portrayed by Margaret Qualley, who looks 16 but is really 27) takes a year off from Berkley to fly free in NYC.
The story was written brilliantly to come alive in the way of JD Salinger fan letters spoken by the rabid fans themselves, lending humanity to what is usually seen as frivolous celebrity crush. Similarly, minor characters who in a lesser film are 2D, are written as perfectly real humans-the hard boiled publicist (Sigourney Weaver), the assistant who mentors Jonanna with a avuncular tough love Brian O’Byrne, the boss’s mensch lover who welcomes Joanna in as his mistress shoves her away Colm Feore, and one of the aforementioned fans Theodore Pellerin (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always). Add in some gorgeous score and a dance number and you have a very entertaining film.
The only off note in the film was Douglas Booth who plays Margaret’s hackneyed Kerouac type writer boyfriend.
Beyond that, near perfection.