With so much negativity all around her, it’s hard for her to set her mind to all the positive possibilities that could lie ahead. What actually is being preached here, using Miranda’s little (and assiduously happily ended) story as a delivery system? If that’s true, Dare to Dream could actually be something good. Hopefully the deceptively stern ideological stance of The Secret has been dampened enough by Tennant and his cast’s efforts (the great Celia Weston is also a standout as Miranda’s hovering, lightly nagging mother-in-law) that only the better, more wanly encouraging notes of its decidedly capitalist fantasy will linger in people’s minds. Will There be a The Bradshaw Bunch Season 2? But soon it turns out that Bray, too, isn’t as perfect as he seems. Maybe it shouldn’t, but that counts for a lot. Coincidentally, it turns out that Bray did the same. Sign up for our daily Hollywood newsletter and never miss a story. © 2020 Cinemaholic Inc. All rights reserved. Her life, as depicted, is a humble pile of debts, incurred from the kind of regular bad luck that no doubt many know all too well. The messaging is still faintly intact—chiefly, that we can invite good fortune into our lives simply by willing it hard enough—but Dare to Dream blankets that sales pitch in an appealing, medium-worn texture. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. The first hour of “The Secret: Dare to Dream” is an intriguing mystery, but the movie’s big revelation is a storytelling disaster. ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ is set in a quaint town where Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes), a single mother of two, struggles to keep up with her piling debts and stressful life. ), this placid, wealthy man urges this poor, stressed woman to see the wonderful connectivity of things, the perhaps glorious design of perceived coincidence. Uplifting at its best and over-the-top at its worse, ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ can be quite entertaining, mostly because of the performances of its strong leads, Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas. So she ultimately decides to pursue another dream and drives to Bray’s place. To clear things out, Bray explains that he was the only survivor of the plane crash that killed her husband. Now filled with a whole new sense of purpose, she realizes that Tuck only gave her a false sense of security. When none of them believe him, he asks the family to visualize a delicious pizza that’s heading their way. She realizes that she was only in a relationship with Tucker due to her insecure future. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. That’s mostly residual from the book, I suspect. It’s really in the marketing—the Secret before the Dream—that sullies the whole thing. But Bray is the man who made her feel warm, comfortable, and confident about herself. The first installment of these profits turns out to be enough for Miranda to pay off all her debts. Make of it what you will. As Bray and Miranda get to know one another following a chance encounter (or, was it? All products featured on Vanity Fair are independently selected by our editors. She is a quotidian Job, beset by everyday disasters and sudden financial setbacks, and it’s begun to affect her worldview. Is Operation Christmas Drop Based on a True Story. But zoomed out just a bit, Dare to Dream reveals more insidious dimensions. Vanity Fair may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Her car bumper is knocked off in a fender bender, but she’ll have to pay a huge deductible before she gets any coverage for repairs. Going forward, Miranda’s life only gets better, and she takes it upon herself to take full ownership of it. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. The movie gently guides her toward a realization, using as its implement a secretive (heh) engineering professor played by Josh Lucas. Although a bit over the top, the ending of the movie intends to show how powerful one’s positive thoughts can be. Doesn’t empowering people to manifest their dreams also tacitly imply that setbacks are largely a failure of their own determined imaginations? This can be true sometimes, of course. At the end of ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’, Miranda pays off her debt with the profit share Bray gives her. From this point on, Bray slowly introduces them to all the possibilities that lie ahead of them and changes their lives. (And is no doubt trying to siphon paying customers from.) The incident changed his life, and since then, he started believing that even the worst moments in life can lead you to a better future. Photo: Lionsgate. There’s a cozy ramble to the movie, which really only once swerves into high drama. Miranda Wells lives in coastal Louisiana with her three children—one teen, one tweenage, one still young enough to play with toy horses—and struggles to make ends meet. The movie that Tennant is trying to make is one more subtly—and persuasively, and empathetically—about people allowing the potential for new joys, new excitements, new contentedness into their lives. Directed and co-written with sensitivity by Andy Tennant, the film takes an unexpectedly low-key approach to fictionalizing the dubious teachings of the global phenomenon The Secret, a pseudo-scientific self-help book written by Rhonda Byrne. Similarly, some people might look at Dare to Dream and see nothing but noxious treacle. Although his upbeat outlook towards life is contagious, he fails to tell Miranda why he’s truly there. How Did She Die? But Dare to Dream doesn’t do any investigation of the other forces—real, tangible institutions and people in America—that keep people poor, and un- or under-insured, and otherwise beaten down in a country whose standard of living is worsening by the day for so many. A dang tree falls through her kitchen roof. Miranda was previously so contrived in her problems that she failed to notice how she was intentionally going deeper into her downward spiral. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. On those terms, this is mostly a sweet and seemingly well-meaning film, intending to give a sense of cosmic hope to people who feel despondent and without agency as they tumble through life. Spoiler alert if you are unfamiliar with the book: The baseline “secret” is the Law of Attraction. But Bray makes her and her family realize that all she has to do is be open to some positive changes in her life, and the rest will magically fall into place. Read More: Best Motivational Movies on Netflix. Holmes gives a natural, amiable performance, even when having to deal with precocious, overly scripted child actors. © 2020 Condé Nast. Bray Johnson (yes, Bray Johnson) is keyed into the supposed law of attraction that lies at the heart of The Secret’s principle; one must be an open and active receptor for good things, or else they will pass you by. Bray Johnson sticks around a little longer and helps the family fix all the damage that a hurricane causes to their house. All rights reserved. All images property of their respective owners. There’s a stark tinge of Randian Objectivism baked into The Secret’s code, and it pierces through Dare to Dream’s soft, cottony exterior by the end of the film. At her daughter’s birthday party, Miranda figures out that Bray introduced her dead husband’s invention to the rest of the world and assumes that he stole it. Will There be an Operation Christmas Drop Sequel? She and Lucas have an easy chemistry, though it’s one that would maybe have been better left as platonic. She also finds a new home for her family. Fleeting but crucial moments in the film do actually approximate real human behavior, real human circumstances that could conceivably come to bear, if they’re not already, on people in the audience. A film based on the book sensation takes a more modest tack than expected. Upon realization, she calls off her dependable and namesake engagement with him. When we first glimpse Katie Holmes in the new inspirational drama The Secret: Dare to Dream (available for digital rental on July 31), she is holding a dead fish. But in all of her troubles, the one thing that bothers her the most is her toxic relationship with her boss Tuck Middendorf, who cares a little too much about “what will the neighbors think?” All this resistance accumulates to a point where she feels like she’ll break any moment. Moments after this, he finds himself in the middle of Miranda and her family’s pessimistic ramblings about their bad luck. When we first glimpse Katie Holmes in the new inspirational drama The Secret: Dare to Dream (available for digital rental on July 31), she is holding a dead fish. It’s otherwise an admirably mellow experience; there’s none of the grand sermon or epiphany of the more dogmatically faith-based films that this movie is stylistically aping. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. From the awards race to the box office, with everything in between: get the entertainment industry's must-read newsletter. © 2020 Cinemaholic Inc. All rights reserved. Ad Choices. And magically, a pizza arrives at Miranda’s doorstep. While returning to their respective homes, the couple runs into each other on the highway, and everything ends perfectly for them. the Art of Putting White People on the Spot. She then finds a new home for her kids and even decides to go back to college to continue her education. She smiles at it, smells it, and then says, “Gorgeous.” Beauty—or maybe it’s value, really—is in the eye of the beholder. Sarah Stern’s Murder: Who Killed Her? That’s when a fender bender introduces her to Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), who, with his optimistic “I can fix that” attitude, turns out to be the perfect embodiment of Sam The Onion Man from ‘Holes.’ Even though Miranda was the one who rammed his car, Bray offers her help and fixes her bumper for free. Even ordering pizza seems like a luxury, and the only way she and her family deal with hurricanes is by placing empty vessels under their leaky roof, hoping that it won’t collapse. That’s a welcome, if blandly general, sentiment to wrap around a movie. She’s weary, and as cynical as maybe any hero in a movie like this—vaguely spiritual, definitely influenced by the Nicholas Sparks cinematic universe—can ever get. In the discrete environment of the movie, this plays out okay. Going in as a skeptic, I was surprised by how much I didn’t roll my eyes or groan at Dare to Dream.