Drama films

The Secret: Dare to Dream review – hokey soap for wish fulfillment | Drama films

The key premise of Rhonda Byrne’s mystical self-help blockbuster, The Secret, is that if you really desire and think about something hard enough, it will eventually show up. If it follows then somewhere deep in America, one of the book’s many superfans was about to burst a blood vessel while viewing a $ 20 rental of a film adaptation once intended for theaters. , moodboarding on an expensive night with a middle of the road sub-Nicholas Sparks pile of soap bubbles. It’s a foamy, forgettable translation of the bestselling book that takes its central belief system and uses it as the basis for a vaguely magical romantic drama for moms.

It’s mostly tolerable on low stakes, like a rosé wine, harmlessly mediocre rather than rotten, an easy, undemanding afternoon watch with nothing but a few ridiculously silly moments. It stars Katie Holmes as Miranda, a widow who looks after three children while struggling to survive financially. Her life is a collection of “OK, sure” problems: she eats too much saltwater taffy but can’t afford the root canal treatment that follows, her daughter wants a computer but she can’t afford it. her birthday, her house is not ready for the storm but she cannot afford to move, etc. The last thing Miranda needs is another one problem she can’t afford to solve, so when she crashes into a car it pushes her to breaking point.

Fortunately, the car is driven by a sympathetic but unintentionally creepy stranger, Bray (Josh Lucas) who offers to fix it for her and when a hurricane then hits the family home he offers to fix it as well. Bray’s take on life mirrors that of the source material, but he also has a secret, which isn’t The Secret, which, as they always do in these movies, is about to change the life of Bray. everyone forever.

Working with a storyline that alternates poor, shallow dialogue with lazy and limited stereotypes, Holmes somehow manages to charm his way through the wreckage. She hasn’t always been an actress who has shown great versatility or even basic ability (she was particularly awful in her other Colicky Movie of the Year Brahms: The Boy II) but she glides admirably through. this, trying to sell the repetitive issues his character runs into. The problem she faces is that nothing here even remotely seems real, no character interacts with another in a way that seems believable, as if they’ve been written by an agoraphobe who hasn’t encountered one. single soul for decades and instead based their view of humanity on Lifetime Movies. Maybe Hallmarks too. Nobody expects grainy realism here, but to sell both family drama and romance there has to be a little more specificity, a little more vibrancy, an on-screen world that at least looks like somewhat to the one we live in.

Lucas is a weirdly unsettling presence here, providing a glimpse into what a darker version of The Secret might look like. His intense blue-eyed gaze and permanent, self-possessed smile could be transplanted seamlessly into an intersected trailer, making the film look like a psycho-thriller. So even though we don’t exactly claim that kiss, given that we will now fear for the safety of his family, we continue anyway, bolstered by the basic demi-pleasure of half-watching what is essentially a daytime soap. with a slightly improved budget. It’s also a bit like watching one of the many religious dramas that have taken place over the past decade, but, unless you use the G word (when Lucas, * rolls his eyes *, refers to a quote from Einstein), it is more spiritual than religious and if anything Buddhism is referenced more than Christianity. The lifestyle adjacent to Field of Dreams ‘if you think it will, it will happen’ is halfway between encouraging positivity and suggesting a rather dangerously distant fatalism, as if working hard isn’t just as powerful as believing in one. form of magic and the movie never quite understands where it ends up here (a hilarious convoluted final act development involving an energy-saving patent pushes it into a wild fantasy).

Director Andy Tennant, who’s made a few decent movies (Ever After, Hitch) and some really horrible movies (The Bounty Hunter, Fool’s Gold) is doing the bare minimum here and that’s only in the movie’s end-of-book trips. towards the universe, that he tries to give it the same scale as Byrne’s original text. The Secret has sold around 30 million copies worldwide, but there’s no dream that its adaptation will reach even a fraction of that.