The Secret gets a lot of guff for being new age philosophy but it really works. Being grateful attracts people who want to help you in business and life. Focusing on positive attracting does achieve goals via ripple effects. A movie like The Secret: Dare to Dream could deliver the message of The Secret in a dramatic way to mass audiences in a Katie Holmes movie. It is available on VOD July 31.
Unfortunately, The Secret: Dare to Dream is just a generic movie where the characters happen to talk about The Secret a few times. It even reinforces some of the hype that oversimplifies the philosophy to make it seem like you don’t have to put any work into it. The Secret is more about becoming the kind of person who can make things happen, but they should have put a better movie on their vision board.
Katie Holmes in ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’
Miranda Wells (Holmes) is going through a rough patch. She’s a recent widow with three kids, overdrafted at her bank, late on bills and a hurricane even destroys her roof. At least when she bumps into the car of Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), he takes it well and offers to help her with her car and other things he can fix.
Bray explains the law of attraction to the kids, like magnets. If you think positive thoughts, they attract positive things back to you. The kids manifest a pizza, which Miranda’s boyfriend Tucker (Jerry O’Connell) had ordered for them ahead of time. Still, it’s a good example of how simple things can work so you can imagine bigger things. Tucker put the pizza into motion before the kids thought of it, but there is a connection to being one with the universe.
The Secret doesn’t motivate Katie Holmes’ ‘Dare to Dream’ character
Unfortunately, Dare to Dream is really just the story of a guy doing good deeds and a woman struggling to accept it. Even that story is just spinning the wheels and treading water because Bray is really there for a reason. The film just contrives ways to delay him revealing it until Act 3. When you find out, it’s something he could have easily said up front, and frankly he should have e-mailed her about long before he came to town.
It also gets into dangerous territory when Bray suggests that Miranda’s series of misfortunes is the result of negative thinking. Yes, there are obviously misanthropes whose negativity attracts more negativity to them, but natural disasters and tragedies aren’t anyone’s fault. Suggesting that could really turn people off to The Secret but fortunately the film isn’t even consistent enough to stick to that theme.
It’s busier contriving a love triangle between Bray, Miranda and Tucker just because they’re all there. The Secret: Dare to Dream wasn’t interested enough in the love story to give Tucker a character that made him remotely viable as a partner, but it’s there nonetheless.
‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ actually makes a stronger case for other philosophies
As Dare to Dream dabbles in The Secret, it ends up making a stronger case for themes that aren’t necessarily inherent to its core philosophy. “I don’t want it to be easy but I do want it to be worth it” is a good message. Miranda’s not looking for an easy way out of her troubles, and no one should. What people should strive for is a life that’s worth the struggle. Miranda doesn’t though. Things just happen to her.
Miranda’s mother-in-law Bobby (Celia Weston) is constantly pressuring Miranda with advice and demands for the house, for her love life, etc. That is relevant. There is always someone in your life draining you, wanting more, pressuring you to do things their way. That path never ends in satisfaction because even if you accommodate every request it would never be enough.
Using The Secret to break from that cycle would be positive. Getting yourself on a path to fulfilling pursuits would attract more positive things into your life. And the fact that you have to know what you want before you ask for it. The first step most people ignore is getting clear on your goals.
For a movie about The Secret, it’s disappointing that the biggest manifestations of it are afterthoughts, tags at the end of a scene or the end of the movie itself. Dare to Dream never shows characters working at the process of becoming the sort of people who can get what they want. The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode about The Secret was more accurate. The gang got it all wrong, but at least viewers could learn from their mistakes.