Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Premium Video on Demand and director Andy Tennant and Lionsgate comes a story of family and unexpected connections with THE SECRET: Dare to Dream.

Miranda (Katie Holmes) is a widower with three children, teen daughter Missy (Sarah Hoffmeister), son Greg (Aidan Brennan) and youngest Bess (Chloe Lee). Doing everything for herself has not been easy but mother-in-law Bobby (Celia Weston) is always there with her two cents.

Dating local business owner Tucker (Jerry O’Connell) keeps the finances coming in as well as a storm that threats the town. Miranda has reason to worry as her house is in need of repairs, but she gets the kids to help hunker down for the storm. Greg does not tell his mother that there was a mysterious visitor earlier, Bray (Josh Lucas) who had an envelope for his mother.

Picking up her two daughters from school, a short argument with Missy is interrupted when Miranda smacks into the back of a truck. Immediately Bray offers to help fix the bumper and she reluctantly agrees. Imagine Bray’s surprise when they return to the very spot he was just at – Miranda’s home.

Fixing the bumper and an unexpected dinner, Bray has a chance to spend a little time with the family. As the storm really comes in, he leaves thanking them all. On his drive out he puts the envelope in the mailbox returning to his hotel room.

After a frightful night, Bray returns to discover all is not as it should be at the Wells home and again offers Miranda help in getting things right again. She cannot understand how a total stranger can be so kind in a world she is struggling with. Catching attention, Tucker wonders what Bray is up to as well.

As the days go by, there are revelations as to the mysterious Bray, Tuckers idea of a family and Bobby having more than two cents about it all but its Miranda that must decide what is right for all.

Holmes as Miranda plays a woman swallowed up with children, a home falling apart, not enough money to get by and trying not to get caught up in the memories of her husband. She has learned to trust no one and is not very good at accepting compliments or help. Holmes gives it the old college try and is sweet if undecisive.

O’Connell as Tucker is a businessman who happens to see a future with Miranda. He is a little uncomfortable when Bray arrives but then again – where is your chainsaw dude? Weston as Bobby is as every mother-in-law can be, full of advice that is not always what Miranda wants to hear.

Kids Lee and Brennan are adorable, inquisitive and trying to understand their mother’s frustration. Of course, being kids they just want their Mom happy but not quite old enough yet to understand how difficult that can be to do as an adult. Hoffmeister starts out as the stereotypical smart mouthed, disrespectful, whiny teen (which by the way is so played out that when I see it in a film I mute it) but by the end she mellows out a bit to become a regular whiny teen.

Lucas as Bray just takes my breath away, then again, he is such a calming force on the screen. Bringing his southern swag and deep well of convictions, he is not pushy but instead just tells the Wells family what he sees in life. Of course, he has a secret and that’s where things get a little dicey. I still truly enjoyed seeing him in THE SECRET: Dare to Dream.

Other cast include: Katrina Begin as Jennifer, Sydney Tennant as Sloane, Samantha Beaulieu as Charmaine, Yohance Myles as Devon, Rosemberg Salgado as Manny and Cory Scott Allen as Matt Wells.

The film is based on the best-selling book THE SECRET by Rhonda Byrne. The book has sold over 30 million copies and translated into 50 language which believes in the law of attraction. It is the belief that one’s thought can change everything in a person’s life.

THE SECRET: Dare to Dream is a charming film and one that families can watch together and even talk about after. There is truth in the belief that the negative power of thought can bring so much pain. I think most people would agree that there comes a time where you have to put out good vibes to get good vibes.

The film also gets into the pain a family goes through when losing a family member, for Miranda, for the kids and for Bobby. It seems they all are worried that they will forget Matt Wells and that being happy somehow would do a disservice to his memory.

It is Bray that shows them in a patient way that it is not a disservice to go but in fact a disservice not to go on. Sometimes it is hard for people to grasp that and it takes a good shaking to make that point. THE SECRET: Dare to Dream does that, it is a gentle shake to think about how short this life is and living in guilt is a waste of a gift.

In the end – your thoughts are your destiny!