Katie Holmes during the Life Ball 2019 at City Hall on June 8, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. After 26 years the charity event Life Ball will take place for the very last time, raising funds for HIV & AIDS projects. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)

Netflix’s The Secret: what people are saying about the self-help book adaptation

Posted by for Film

Katie Holmes learns the importance of gratitude and visualisation in Netflix’s The Secret: Dare To Dream – but do we? 

Updated on 10 November: Even if you never read it for yourself, you’ll probably have heard of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. Translated into 50 languages, the controversial self-help book has peddled its message about The Law Of Attraction (essentially, that achievement is a three-step process: ask, believe, and receive) to well over 30 million people.

However, while it’s undeniably one over the likes of many (Oprah Winfrey included) with its – ahem – simplistic maxims about gratitude and visualisation, others have been… well, they’ve been less than complimentary about the book.

Why? Well, as political activist and self-described “myth buster” Barbara Ehrenreich famously pointed out in her own book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, The Secret and other tomes like it tend to promote political complacency and a failure to engage with reality.

Which, when you glance through The Secret’s official Twitter feed (boasting such gems of advice as, “If money is what you are asking to create more of in your life, then repeat ‘I love money and money loves me!’”), seems a fair point.

Whether you believe in the power of The Secret’s simplest maxims or not, it’s worth noting that a new film adaptation of the book (which in itself was based on an earlier documentary of the same name) is now available to stream on Netflix.

And pretty much everyone is saying the same thing about it. 

First things first, what’s The Secret: Dare To Dream all about?

Starring Katie Holmes as Miranda Wells, the romantic drama tells the story of a hard-working young widow struggling to raise three children on her own. 

When a powerful storm brings a devastating challenge and a mysterious handyman, Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), into her life, his presence and his belief in the power of positive thinking re-ignites the family’s spirit.

However, he carries a secret. One which could change everything.

And what are people saying about The Secret: Dare To Dream?

We have to assume that filmmakers didn’t visualise themselves receiving rave reviews for this one, as The Secret: Dare To Dream is currently sitting at a sorry 29% ‘rotten’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“For those who Dare to Dream of a worthy dramatic adaptation of The Secret, this sodden romance will prove a disappointment too painful to visualise,” reads the site’s consensus. Ouch.

That being said, though, it seems the people of Twitter are 100% here for this soaring drama.

“Netflix’s The Secret should be something that’s shown in schools as a standard,” raved one fan. 

“It’s great hearing about the law of attraction and ultimately manifesting things you want/desire in life.” 

“Just watched The Secret: Dare To Dream on Netflix. Omg I just loved it sooooo much,” wrote another of the film, hammering their point home with a crying face emoji. 

Still one more tweeted: “Netflix’s The Secret: Dare To Dream is an absolutely amazing film. Loved every minute of it.”

And even Stylist’s own Lucy Robson (who describes herself as incredibly tricky to please when it comes to movies) admitted she was a fan of the film, insisting it’s “perfectly fine” viewing for a night in. 

When is The Secret: Dare To Dream coming to Netflix?

As reported on 4 November: The film has been available to stream on Netflix from Thursday 5 November, just in time for the UK’s second nationwide lockdown

With that fortuitous release date in mind, then, is it really any wonder it has made its way into the streaming platform’s Top 10 trending list?

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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