|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.