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The Secret: Dare to Dream

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As directed and co-written by Andy Tennant, this adaptation of Rhonda Byrne's self-help book, ostensibly a romantic drama, is essentially a thinly disguised sales pitch for Byrne's power-of-positive-thinking philosophy according to which it's possible to just will one's self into wealth, opportunity and true love. A widowed mother of three (Katie Holmes) working for a Louisiana seafood restaurateur (Jerry O'Connell) who pines for her is a prey to bad impulsive decisions and is constantly in debt. Then into her life — not by coincidence — mind you, drops Mr. Right (Josh Lucas) who thereafter serves as the spokesman for Byrne's outlook. The film does strive to be likable. But the script's message is a far cry from anything resembling traditional Christian spirituality. So, although the more usual problematic elements are virtually absent, the movie cannot be endorsed for young viewers — or those among their elders inclined to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

Watch out for: Promotion of a non-Scriptural worldview requiring mature discernment, a single crass term.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020