Secretary (Review)

Move along. Nothing sensationalist here...

Move along. Nothing sensationalist here…

Lee Young (Maggie Gylenhaal) is a young woman with problems. She arrives home to her loving but somewhat suffocating family fresh from a lengthy stint at a care facility catering to those with mental health issues, and decides to get back out into the world.

Unfortunately, or – as the film would suggest – fortunately, Lee applies for a receptionist’s role, working under a lawyer named Edward Gray (James Spader).

Time Out.

While ‘young impressionable and innocent girl finds love in an unlikely place’ is a fine enough premise for a romantic comedy, even one with a skewed perspective, ‘young impressionable and innocent girl finds love with a creepy deviant fuck-up who masks it well enough to maintain a profession’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Nonetheless that is the film here. Grey starts with mere browbeating and belittling, and progressively escalates until… well let’s just say that a dead worm pressed into a letter plays a pivotal role in clinching the deal. Lee might not be able to type well, but she can take a paddlin’…

If I criticise this then I’m clearly out of touch with a world that I’ve never felt the need to investigate or research. Or it might be just as easy to accuse me of having no sympathy for people with special disorders – even if the film clearly has the person with lesser mental faculties as the one being manipulated.

Whatever option you choose; I’m unapologetically that.

People with mental issues can fall in love. It no doubt can be tender, adorable or quirky. No doubt such material could result in a good film. But there is little nuance on display here, Lee is the innocent bunny, Grey the creepy predator. I would have thought that her mental issues would convince an audience of that. Apparently not.

Secretary has been dubbed a precursor to ’50 Shades of Grey’. It might be an apt descriptor, but given that the latter is universally labelled the work of a hack, does being a pioneer in the genre mean much?

Final Rating – 5 / 10. 50 Shades of Meh.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
This entry was posted in Crappy Movies, Film, Movie Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *