The Secret March 14, 2011Posted by Rusty in 36-40, the secret.
Break out your Drudge sirens, ya’ll! The Secret is off the hook. This is mandatory viewing for the Lifetime connoisseur. It’s on my DVR permanently. IT IS IMPORTANT! The Secret wasn’t made for Lifetime. It was an indie film that (correctly) failed to find distribution and never got a theatrical release. Lifetime (correctly) bought the television rights and the rest is history. Sweet, sweet history.
The Marrises (Hannah and Benjamin, played by Lili Taylor and Fox Mulder) have a wonderful marriage. They’ve been together for 20 years and still have time to whisper sweet nothings to each other and have face-to-face intercourse. Hannah is a full-time mom and part-time terrible amateur photographer. Benjamin is a successful optometrist who looks at dozens of eyes every day. But his day doesn’t really begin until he looks into Hannah’s. This shit goes on for 15 minutes and the only interruption to the domestic bliss is their obnoxious teenage daughter, Samantha.
To Samantha’s credit, Hannah is a real piece of work. Making your 16-year-old daughter kiss you when you’re dropping her off at her friend’s house is weird. Taking candid pictures of her without her permission is also weird. Samantha might be right when she tells her mom that she will never understand why that shit is so annoying.
All this boring is broken up when mother and daughter get into a serious car accident.
Both ladies are in a coma. Hannah wakes up first. Then Samantha goes Code Blue. Hannah grabs on to Samantha’s hand. When the doctors make her let go, Samantha gets better but Hannah dies. That’s right, folks! Soul transference! Just like that episode of The X-Files that one time!
As soon as Hamantha wakes up, she goes right to the “I’m really your wife, not your daughter!” spiel. She tells Benjamin about their first date at a Cure concert (haha, Rbert Smith is old as balls) and about how he mentions the day starting with her eyes and how they recently fucked on the stairs. I was really worried that Ben would be in denial about this for the next 60 minutes, but, no. He basically buys this immediately. Awesomely, Fox Mulder insists that “there must be some scientific explanation for this.”
So after Benjamin does some research (Google and talking to a gothy librarian), the Marrises decide that Samantha will come back after Hannah’s soul is ready or some other gobbely gook. So they need to continue Samantha’s life for when she returns. That means playing it cool, making good grades, and maintaining friendships.
Well Samantha’s friends are real pieces of work. The thing is, I buy that they would try to smoke Samantha up at her mom’s funeral. I have friends that would do that. But I do not buy telling a girl at her mom’s funeral that “at least she got her wish” when her mom died. Jesus Christ, dudes.
School is a little better. Somehow this pot-addled, sexually active with two dudes, tattoo of a guy’s name on her butt, total head case is also on the fast track to the Ivy League? Of course, Hannah was more “photo-smart” than “book-smart,” so maintaining Samantha’s grades might get tricky. The solution? Extracurricular activities! Samannah joins the yearbook committee and is immediately wowing everyone with her amazing camera skills.
Unfortunately, handling the social aspects of high school proves more difficult. “Everyone is so young, but they act so old!” is an honest-to-God piece of dialogue in this movie. And of course there’s a scary teen party where everyone is drinking grain alcohol. Hamantha gets fall down drunk LITERALLY the second alcohol touches her lips. Which is nuts because she spends the rest of the movie drinking like a fish with no ill side effects.
Here’s where things get icky. Daughter body, wife soul. And the soul is horny. Reminds me of the old expression: The vagina is the window to the soul. Just like that. It’s clear that Samantha/Hannah (not a girl, not quite a woman) still considers herself married, but her hormones are very much into fucking one of Samantha’s boyfriends (douche drug dealer or older, creepy, maybe abusive dude) or, even better, her yearbook faculty advisor. Thankfully, Samannah takes a step back, reflects on her situation, and decides to seduce her husband/father.
This is so gross. Ben is super drunk so he can forget he wants to fuck his daughter while Hamantha is posing in a white nightie and playing smooth jazz. “A 40-year-old wife in a perfect 16-year-old body…isn’t that every man’s fantasy?” That has to be a rhetorical question, right? She can not be serious. Benjamin manages to have the willpower not to fuck his daughter. Hurray.
This would be the time to mention that The Secret is based on a Japanese novel and film. Of course.
Samannah and Ben continue to pull apart. It turns out life as a high schooler is kind of tough. And what would make it better? Ketamine, obviously. She does ketamine. And you know what happens when someone does ketamine in a Lifetime movie.
Have any of you guys been around a bunch of people snorting ketamine? Jesus, it’s the worst. Like, when people are on coke, you can understand the appeal immediately. Those people look like they’re having a good time and you would also like to have a good time. But ketamine? Ugh. Being around a bunch of teenagers in a K-hole is not fun. There’s no place you’d rather not be. Samantha’s friends use lame drugs.
So Ben rescues Hanantha in the middle of her K-hole bad trip (she imagines herself in Hannah’s body covered in blood) and wakes up as Samantha proper. Drugs fix everything! But it doesn’t last. She reverts to Hannah-soul after a night of spooning with Benjamin. But…if Samantha was back, why the spooning? Ew.
Eventually Samantha does come back full time. Samannah prepares for this “inevitability” (I love how they know exactly how this possession is going to play out) by making a videotape telling her daughter/self that she loves her. Great. The End.
Maybe my review comes off as a little bored with the movie. That’s not fair. Yes, shit gets boring at the very end. But only at the very, very end. Before that we have daughter-father seduction and inappropriate intimacy, drugs, angst, sex, and scary teen parties. And it’s well acted and poorly directed! But poorly directed in the way where the filmmaker realllly wants you to know he is directing the shit out of this movie. And that is almost always hilarious.
HEY! IT’S THAT GUY! 10
I gave David Duchovny some crap earlier by calling him Fox Mulder, but it is remarkable how likable he can be despite the fact he is always playing a low-intensity know-it-all. And who doesn’t love Lili Taylor? Always a pleasure.
The daughter was played by Olivia Thirlby from Juno. So that makes three actors who are recognizably famous. That there’s a ten.
We would have had to deduct points fast if this movie found a way to excuse incest. Thankfully (?) that didn’t happen. Instead we get all of the stuff I mentioned a few paragraphs earlier. Teen panic, drugs, alcohol, mother-daughter troubles, finding yourself, paranormal shit, and, of course, intercourse by natural light. Although the sex here is by candles instead of fireplace. I thought about making that a one point deduction but that’s a bit pedantic, no?
GRAND TOTAL: 38
I believe this is the third highest rated movie in our system. It’s a worthy addition to anyone’s Blu-Ray collection. You really need the HD to get the spooning to pop.