Blu-ray Review: The Secret: Dare to Dream 

By , Contributor
Based on Rhonda Byrne's 2006 best-selling self-help book, The Secret, the Katie Holmes-starring romantic drama The Secret: Dare to Dream arrives on Blu-ray after a modest on-demand release. It's an easy movie to take shots at by anyone of a snarky disposition. Middle-aged widow Miranda (Holmes) is raising three kids while working for a seafood restaurant owned by her apparent boyfriend Tucker (Jerry O'Connell). Miranda is barely getting by financially when a minor fender-bender allows for a meet-cute with a mysterious but amiable handyman, Bray (Josh Lucas). 

If you're a Hallmark Channel junkie, this might be your jam.

Nice-guy Bray actually established contact with Miranda's preteen son Greg (Aidan Brennan) several hours prior, attempting to deliver a manila envelope containing... well, therein lies the suspense element that runs throughout much of Dare to Dream. The envelope, which indeed factors prominently in the third act, goes missing in a storm that badly damages Miranda's home. Ever willing to help, Bray volunteers his services at cost. Miranda openly wonders if Bray just wants to "get some" (that's literally as much provocation as this Dream ever dares).

Plot-wise there just isn't much going on. The entire first half is quite literally the story of a residential dwelling being repaired. Not especially compelling.

Bray espouses a simple philosophy (a core principal of Bryne's source book) that good things will occur if you just think positively, visualizing the outcomes you desire. Earlier I mentioned that Tucker is Miranda's "apparent" boyfriend, the reason being that the nature of their relationship remains rather unclear for much of the film's runtime. Eventually, basically because it had to generate some form of conflict to justify its existence, Dare to Dream turns into a love triangle between Miranda, Bray, and Tucker.

It's not very convincingly sold. But really the worst one can say about The Secret: Dare to Dream is that it's essentially a big slice of puffy irrelevance. At best, it's an acceptable "grandparents" movie. By that I mean, you can easily schedule this family-friendly, inoffensive ball of cinematic cotton candy as the afternoon entertainment for a multi-generational get-together. It's an easy-to-watch time-passer that won't overly impress anyone, but won't piss anyone off either. 

Damning with the very faintest of praise to be sure, but that's kind of what this proudly underachieving movie asks for. The actors are agreeable, with fans of Katie Holmes in particular being well-served. It's a silly film but goes down as painlessly as one of those Garry Marshall "holiday" films like Mother's Day. Invite the grandparents over, put out a bowl of butter mints, pour some ginger ales, and settle in a little lo-cal, insubstantial entertainment.

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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