The Secret: Dare to Dream

  • 10 Oct - 16 Oct, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

The Secret: Dare to Dream stars Katie Holmes as Miranda, a widow caring for three kids while struggling to get by financially. Her life is an assemblage of “okay, sure” issues: she eats too much salt water taffy but can’t afford the root canal that follows, her daughter wants a computer but she can’t afford one for her birthday, her house isn’t storm-ready but she can’t afford to move etc, etc. The last thing Miranda needs is another problem that she can’t afford to fix so when she crashes into a car, it pushes her to breaking point.

Luckily said car is being driven by friendly yet unintentionally creepy stranger Bray (Josh Lucas) who offers to fix it up for her and when a hurricane then hits the family home, he offers to fix that too. Bray’s outlook on life mirrors that of the source material but he also has a secret, that isn’t the secret, which, as they always do in these movies, is about to change everyone’s lives forever.

Working with a script that alternates poor, perfunctory dialogue with lazy, limited stereotypes, Holmes somehow manages to charm her way through the wreckage. She’s not always been an actor who’s shown a great deal of versatility or even basic capability but she glides through this admirably, trying medium-hard to sell the repetitive issues her character comes up against. The problem she faces is that nothing here feels even remotely real, no character interacts with another in a way that seems believable. No one expects gritty realism here but in order to sell both family drama and romance, there needs to be a bit more specificity, a bit more vibrancy, a world on screen that at least somewhat resembles the one we live in.

Director Andy Tennant, who has made a couple of decent films (Ever After, Hitch) and some genuinely God-awful ones (The Bounty Hunter, Fool’s Gold) does the bare minimum here and it’s only in the film’s bookending journeys to the universe, that he tries to give it the same scale as Byrne’s original text. The Secret has sold an estimated 30m copies worldwide but there’s no amount of dreamy thinking that will see its adaptation reaching even a fraction of that.