It was great to see Katie Holmes in a leading role again. Haven’t we all been curious about how she’s been doing life since her break up with Tom Cruise, which seems like eons ago, and yet just yesterday?
Katie’s new movie, The Secret: Dare to Dream, is a heartwarming story set in southern Louisiana. Katie plays the role of Miranda, a widow who has three kids and is scraping to get by. Bad luck seems to follow her, and she stubbornly sticks to her guns about digging herself out of her situation.
She has a wealthy restauranteur boyfriend (played by Jerry O’Connell) who also happens to be her boss. This could provide an obvious and messy storyline. Still, it takes a backseat to the real plotline.
It’s hurricane season for the New Orleans area, and coincidentally Miranda’s life on the north shore of Lake Ponchatrain – a well-known target for many a gulf storm. A stranger blows in at the same time, collides with Miranda’s life in a refreshingly different and calming way. He exudes an unfamiliar positivity and hopefulness that’s foreign to Miranda’s family, and yet they find his presence comforting. Not to mention thank you, he is easy on the eyes (Bray, played by Josh Lucas).
Bray has a secret of his own. He’s pacing himself to reveal it as it has the potential to significantly alter Miranda’s life. And while the formula for the story is seemingly predictable, the cadence and how it unfolds almost feels like the hug of a Hallmark movie. You’re left with a warmness when it’s over, and the message deepens the more you absorb it.
My take on the movie? It’s worth the watch. It’s clean, your kids can watch it with you.
A few additional notes:
As someone who’s lived in south Louisiana for several years and married into a Louisiana family,
I was happy that the accents were not forced. I mean, if you can’t nail that dialect, just please – do everyone a favor and don’t. With characters regaling from Tennessee and New Orleans, it would have been much too off-putting to force it. However, I will say the authenticity of the mother-in-law Bobby (played by Celia Weston ) evoked memories of my own Louisiana mother-in-law, albeit in a more measured and quieter version.
At the movie’s outset, I felt myself disliking the sourness of Miranda’s attitude and simultaneously thinking that she was ideal for the role as obviously, she hadn’t quite recovered from her own woes. Oh right, she’s acting!
Director Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama), shared that he felt fortunate about casting Katie Holmes as his lead: “Some say, ‘It ain’t the years, it’s the mileage.’ And I think that with Katie, it feels like she’s really come into her own as a woman, as a mother, and as an artist. I feel like I’ve lucked out in that I think I’ve got the right actress for the right role at the right time.”
This is not a big-budget film, nor does it need to be. It’s simple but yet profound. You can’t help but leave it with introspection on your own mindset and beliefs, and how you frame life’s events. And if it feels familiar to you, the concepts are a reincarnation of a popular book.
The Secret: Dare to Dream, is a story based on the theories from Rhonda Byren’s runaway bestseller, The Secret. The Secret shows how to apply a powerful knowledge to your life in every area, from health to wealth, to success and relationships. (More info on The Secret and reviews below.)
It seems The Secret was at work to pull the movie and cast together. “This project came to me from somebody who is a deep practitioner of the secret,” revealed Josh Lucas. “And without knowing anything at all about this particular project, a couple of years back she called me and said to me, ‘You need to reach out to Andy Tennant, who directed you in Sweet Home Alabama.’”
Jerry O’Connell also knows a thing or two about the power of The Secret. The actor shares, “When I first heard that they were doing ‘a Secret’ movie, I was like, I read that book! I practice those principles! And so then I actually ‘secreted’ getting the role in this movie… and BOOM, here I am. It works!”
Whether you’re a Secret practitioner or not, the movie is relatable for everyone. While on location, between scenes while filming in Louisiana, Katie Holmes took a moment to reflect: “I think that audiences are going to connect to this film because it brings a lot of hope. Hope never goes out of style.”
The film is available on all VOD platforms such as AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and cable providers.