Instead of the clichéd, lame romance and rom-com films, in honor of Valentines Season, here are some of the more…
Assume the position.
A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.
Who's to say that love needs to be soft and gentle?
First time I've had the chance to see the entire film.
The reason I liked this movie isn't because of the odd subject matter, but because the "love story", for lack of a better term, seems more heart felt and genuine to me then most romantic films that seem to come out every year. James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal are damn near perfect for these roles making Peter and Lee seem just like normal people struggling to understand who they are.
Steven Shainberg showed us with this film that there is someone out there for everyone. Be it a study of dominant and submissive personalities or an unconventional love story,this is a touching and often very moving film.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is the emotionally sensitive Lee, a young woman recovering after a stint in hospital after a dangerous incident involving self harm. Attempting to put her life back together she embarks on a typing course and after showing a natural aptitude seeks a job as a secretary.
When she first meets Mr. E Edward Grey (James Spader) she is awkward and shy. Unprofessional and emotionally stunted,Lee is surprisingly hired as Edward's secretary. Sensing something about her, Edward becomes sexually aroused by her…
I feared Secretary would be over the top sexual and stupidly boring.
Fortunately, it wasn't.
Speaking as a reader of the horrible "Fifty Shades of Grey" I'm now fully aware and able to point out exactly where that book went wrong (I mean, besides the awful writing, the shallow too-stupid-to-live characters, and otherwise uneventful plot).
I'm not a fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal nor am I that big on James Spader (I found it pretty hilarious that his name also happened to be Mr. Grey), but I suppose they both did all right.
The only big problem with the film is character development. I know it should be obvious how both people change and adapt, but I didn't feel it.
I haven't watched this since I was fifteen, so I thought it was worth a rewatch. My rating has gone up a star and a half because actually I really like this, I like the direction and the two leads give great performances. Spader gives off a great formidable air but he's also kind of goofy. Weird.
A sweet romantic drama about S&M. Who could have imagined such a thing. Definitely not a movie for everybody, but surprisingly well put together, with great performances from James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Is it just me or was the silly '50 Shades of Grey' inspired by this shitty movie?
It was recommended for me as an indie film, and for some reason I was expecting something akin to Blue Velvet. That wasn't the case. The film is essentially a description of a unconventional love affair. How we express our needs, and how do we find our role in a relationship.
There are a few very good scenes and Interesting ideas about the subject love and pain. But for me, the whole doesn't add up.
Un abogado, una mujer dependiente; él sádico, ella masoquista. ¿Puede haber más bella historia de amor?
Si bien puede parecer freaky o irreverente, uno bien puede cuestionarse, ¿estará la sociedad equivocada? ¿no será posible que esta pareja sea lo más cercano a una pareja perfecta? Desde luego, James Spader se encarga de darle ese toque sexcéntrico que necesitaba para separarla del resto del ganado.
Luego de The Passion of the Christ, Secretary es mi filme favorito de S&M.
There's one scene in this film that I really loved, and when I say loved, I mean I really did love it. The rest of the film is good, with brilliant performances from Gyllenhaal and Spader, but nothing comes close to topping that one scene. Anyone who's seen the film will know which scene I mean - the one just after the worm incident, where Mr. Grey essentially shows Lee how he feels in the best way he can. There was something so beautiful about that scene to me, in a strange sort of way, that it improved the whole thing.
A sentimental favorite. Shainberg's story of love, pain and power dynamics often does an excellent job of depicting the interplay between self-harm, loss of control over one's life, and repressed sexuality. But I think it's diluted a bit by its self-consciously gawky 90s cinematography and set design, not to mention the Natalie Merchant tune in the denouement. Perhaps this was meant to stand in contrast to the dominant/submissive relationship on display, counting on an audience reacting to it with shock or surprise. But by some measures of kink, what's going on here is fairly tame. In many respects this is a pretty standard romantic comedy, just one that accesses a much more vital current around pain and pleasure, making others…
Fifty Shades of Very Little Sense
I wasn't particularly excited to see this movie, i didn't know anything about it, i had only heard some good stuff about, especially regarding Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance in this movie which i had heard it was great. So i went into Secretary hoping it would be at least worth the watch.
Secretary is Directed by Steven Shainberg and i stars James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Davies.
"Lee Holloway is a smart, quirky woman in her twenties who returns to her hometown in Florida after a brief stay in a mental hospital. In search of relief from herself and her oppressive childhood environment, she starts to date a nerdy friend from high school and takes a job as a secretary in…
A Hegelian film, an extension of the Master & the Servant analogy, with Lacanian sex-tension. "I'm not going to fuck you," he says, as he is watching the to-be-naked bottom. He humiliates her even more by not fucking her - but jerking off and tell her to make a sandwich.
In the office of Oriental and European kitsch, an American lawyer, self-destructive and abusive, meets his Cure, another force who might be even more abusive than him. If there is a Cycle of break-ups and marriages, it is "we" who walk ourselves into the Off/ice and refuse to budge our hands from the table.
I've seen this before, but it's fun to revisit old "indies". It suffers from trope-ish camera work, and the fact that I've seen Spader age. However, Secretary has aged with humor and is sure to be antidote to the horrors of the 50 Shades of Grey film. Seriously though, it's funny.
Odd one. Honestly, I'd avoided it for a long time because I had an idea that it might be preachy, judgemental or stereotypical about kinky people - the idea of BDSM actually being therapy for daddy issues, which is what I'd heard, troubled me a bit. Having seen it, I think this film has problems and that isn't one of them - it doesn't generalise, it's just about one slightly fucked up person finding happiness (I hesitated about writing 'two', or 'three' people there, but it really is only about one person. The supporting males have no backstory or character and are depicted only in terms of their relationships with the protagonist, in a mildly interesting yet unfulfilling reversal of…
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Soldier's Girl
- Blue Valentine
- Play It Again, Sam
- Before Sunrise
- Love & Other Drugs
- Requiem for a Dream
- The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover
- The Reader
It isn't just lesser actresses who are willing to get their kit off. Yes some are well known for it…
- The Girl on the Bridge
- Next Stop Wonderland
- White Palace
Any nominations for films starring Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl, Sarah Jessica Parker or Jennifer Lopez will be reported to the…