Hidden Secrets Reviews
February 19, 2011
Loved this movie about how a group of friends deal with some very serious issues ...I thought it was very real. I showed it to my Ladies Group at church and they loved it too. It has a variety of Christian characters...the very pious and hypocritical one, the one struggling with their faith, the one that can't forgive themselves, the one that overcame the obstacles, the one coming back to God.... John Schneider from Dukes of Hazzard fame, stole the show and was awesome in his role as a successful businessman that wasn't sure about the need for God in his life. The sarcastic humor went well with all the serious issues they were facing. Some of the unknown actors left a little to be desired but I thought it was still very well done and a great witness of reality....well, except for the church scene at the end...never seen anything quite like that happen :)
April 22, 2010
This is what films should be like. Yeah it is religious, but so am I! I loved the humor. John Schnieder's character is hillarious. He keeps zinging the zealot.
March 26, 2009
Very honest & heartwarming movie about the different personalities of Chrisitianity and the fact that we are just as normal as everyone else...
The fact that Christians lead everyday lives and have flaws and past hurts just like the rest of the world.
About the importance of not judging others and not being legalistic to the point that you don't enjoy life.
It made me laugh...and cry lol to me that always makes a good movie :)
Hopefully it'll be just as much of a blessing to others!
May 31, 2008
This a really good movie. It talks about forgiveness and haw difficult it is for some people to find peace in it.
February 24, 2014
If you told me that somebody decided to make a Christian version of The Big Chill, I'd be both intrigued and scared by the idea. It would involve a lot of dull talky scenes and most likely cringe-inducingly bad attempts at comedy as well as a ham-fisted moral lesson with all the brevity and subtlety of watching Superman fight General Zod.
That being said, let?s look at Hidden Secrets.
In this film-
Wait, Hidden Secrets? If something is a secret, then it's meant to stay hidden and if something is hidden then by its very status is is something hidden!
When the title of your film creates a potential feedback loop, you're in trouble.
A man named David has just died.
How did he die? Well, he died because Plot is a cruel cinematic goddess who demands fictional blood be spilled in her unholy name.
David's sister Sherry has to make arrangements for his burial and that includes calling his friends to gather for the event.
While the opening credits roll, we see various characters preparing for a funeral
CHARCTER ROLL CALL!
Jeremy (David A. R. White) is riding with???.
Rachel, his totally celibate girlfriend (Stacey Keanan)
Rhonda (Autumn Paul) who is both extremely pregnant and putting the finishing touches on her henpecked husband.....
Harold (Gregg Binkley) who is posing next to a life-sized cutout of himself holding a book that is in no way similar to Left Behind.
Anthony (Sean Sedgwick) is smoking in his car next to???
Sally (Rachel Lampa) his girlfriend who has to hide her shoulder tattoo (it leads exactly nowhere and is just eating up screen time).
And Michael (Coren Nemec) is sitting alone in his car staring at a plance ticket and sporting a slightly gayer haircut than everyone else. Wonder why?
Yes, this is a character-driven Christian movie. Consider yourself warned.
To be fair, whenever the characters have a philosophical or theological discussion, the film borders on watchable. But just when you find yourself ready to describe a scene as ?tolerable? the script will crack the whip and force the actors to do something comedic. And the results vary from ?terrible? to ?soul-crushing.?
And most of the soul-crushing comes from Rhonda.
Oh, I cannot do this review without discussing a witch called Rhonda. She?s meant to represent the judgmental, prideful, super Christian who drives people into Satan worship. Sometimes she?s gently abrasive ( like a sandpaper swipe against a naked eyeball) and other times she is so hyper-zealous that she leaps beyond Rude and blossoms into Abusive.
Rhonda and Gary (John Scheider) have a little verbal collision when she learns that he works in stem cell research. I don?t get enough manufactured drama reading X-Men comics, so moments like these warm my heart, just like spicy food.
Shocked, Rhonda runs back into the house and tells Sherry that Gary is no better than a murdering abortionist (and depending on whom you ask, that phrase sounds redundant). Going into Godly Overdrive, Rhonda almost shrieks that God?s judgment will fall on the place because of him and I can only imagine that her unborn child is trying to squeak out, ?Lady, this woman does not speak for me, I?m only along for the ride and the free food.?
Exasperated, Sherry forcefully reminds Rhonda that she just put her own brother in the ground so maybe they should talk about this later.
We have our First Moment Of True Entertainment in this movie!
Rhonda storms off, because compassion is something that happens to other Christians.
That entire sequence is just one (ONE) example of what we get from Rhonda. Every time she opens her mouth, a part of you will shrivel in fear because By The Audience This Movie Dumbs, Something Annoying This Way Comes.
Have no fear though, since the other characters are less hate-inducing but that doesn?t help.
Jeremy (who used to love Shelley) and Rachel are having relationship woes and the fact that Jeremy is forced to interact with Shelley isn?t helping.
Here?s an example:
The unhappy couple are having a disagreement (Look, until an object shatters against something or someone, I?m not calling it a fight) about how the ghost of Jeremy and Sherry?s relationship is hanging over them and choking off his ability to trust. I wouldn?t call her a shrieking harpy, more like a slightly chirping one.
Rachel and Jeremy work out an arrangement to share a bed but to pile up pillows between the two of them so that nothing happens.
The next morning, Rachel flirtingly reaches her hand through to wake Jeremy up, causing him to spastically Jack Tripper right off the bed.
Jeremy: Do you know how this looks?
Rachel: No, how does it look?
Pathetic? Unfunny? Moronic? Ridiculous? Exasperatingly overdone? Idiotic? Sweet Sauron, Make It Stop?
Brace yourselves, folks for we are about to witness The Worst Line Delivery Ever.
When Rachel asks how it looks, Jeremy flounders for an answer before moaning out, ?Wrooong!?
The line is forced out like a cement bowel movement but with none of the emotion and all the artificial radiance of a fading light bulb. It seems to reach out of the movie and remind you that this line was written, rehearsed, and carefully practiced but was never naturally uttered by a human being.
During a painfully long and uninteresting roofing montage, the guys start discussing why Jeremy and Sherry broke up. This is a good question: why can?t two blandly blonde people get along? Jeremy doesn?t know why she dumped him and the breakup did affect his faith. He admits to doing a few things he wasn?t proud of.
It?s okay, we don?t blame you for Second Glance.*
Later the gang prepare for a night out to a Fifties-themed restaurant known as the Red Car. Joy. But first, they have to dress appropriately and that means a...................SHOPPING MONTAGE!
All the ingredients are here: lame music that wants to be hip more than Elizabeth Berkeley wanted to be a dancer in Showgirls; characters putting on ridiculous outfits to remind us that bad fashion exists; said characters in said outfits performing sad dance moves; and even a slow motion walk entering and leaving the thrift store because people do that while shopping. Edit together in a single clip, set to Deep Hurting and voila! Your audience loses its appetite!
There are so many horrible non-moments that I can?t possibly recount them all here.
The actors all look embarrassed when they try to sound funny and bored otherwise. The only ones really trying are John Schneider as Gary the atheist and David A. R. White as Jeremy the?..guy.
Let?s tally this one up:
CLEVER TITLE: No frakking way.
DOES ANYONE DIE?: Not on camera.
DOES ANYTHING EXPLODE?: Nope.
BEST SCENE?: Well, there is one good moment when everyone is in The Red Car. Rhonda looks up at a waitress (insert your own joke her about how Rhonda is beneath everyone else) and notices a cross necklace and asks how a Christian can stand being in such a heathen place and the waitress? response?
?I was about to ask you the same thing.?
That is such a moment of subtle pwnage that every acid-tongued spinster on ETV paused mid-sip and said in unison, ?Props, darling.?
VERDICT: Two stars out of ten.
June 6, 2013
low budget, but an AMAZING, and very inspiring movie. Very real to the Christian life and struggle, and really captures the pains we experience and the redeeming power of Christ