Best of
lMovie Review
By Mira Harber

Secretary is a film most likely to put the 'fun' back in dys'fun'ctional.

It is the story of an S&M relationship between a dominant lawyer and his submissive secretary. Mr. Grey the lawyer (James Spader) is so hard to work for that he has an illuminated help wanted sign 'Secretary' at the front of his offices, in perpetual readiness. Along comes young Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal), fresh out secretarial school and a six-month stay in the 'hospital'.

What could be a nasty, mean and sort of slimy movie, is instead  a sympathetic  window to a different, if somewhat deviant, kind of behavior. We get a good glimpse into their behavior (more naughty for her, more tortured for him), are never shown too much, but certainly understand the dynamics of the relationship well.
James Spader always has a kind of a cloud around him, which is perfect for his role as the lawyer who knows his behavior is way, way out of line, but can't change. Maggie Gyllenhaal is simply delightful as the submissive secretary - but just how submissive is she? What does she get out of her behaviour? Take a look at that sly smile that plays at the corners of her mouth, and tell me she's not happy. When Mr. Grey says to Miss Holloway "We can't do this 24 hours a day" she answers, in all seriousness, "Why not?"

If you want to see something a little out of the ordinary, but not too out there, Secretary is the film for you. I like stories about relationships, and this is one with a twist.


Copyright © 2002 Best of
Hosted by
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.