Cinema in Focus: ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ | Arts & Entertainment

3 Stars — Wholesome

During this time of isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic, all of the movie theaters are closed. There are a few new films coming out from the various streaming services, ranging from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, that are worth considering to satisfy your craving for wholesome and entertaining viewing.

New this summer is the streaming film “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” a look at how one family grapples with the loss of their husband and father. A stranger inspires them to examine ways to have faith in recovery, and how their thoughts and hopes for the future shape their ability to work toward healing.

This is not a religious film outright, but it does focus on elements of faith that are necessary to find your way through the pain of loss and how to build a strong focus on restoration with a love-filled life.

Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes) has lost her husband in a fatal plane crash. Not only was he the love of her life, but he was a devoted and greatly missed father to a wonderful set of kids who miss his loving and tender care for their family.

Miranda works for Tucker (Jerry O’Connell), a restaurant owner and a good man. In many ways, she sought his presence as a substitute for what she had lost. Her family and her former mother-in-law are pushing her to marry Tucker so that the kids will have a stable and healthy male influence in their lives.

What Miranda had not counted on, but was somewhat surprised to find, was that a traveling handyman shows up at her home to help provide some needed repairs to her kitchen and roof after a storm wreaks havoc on their home. Along with the handsome stranger comes a few other unexpected facts, including the fact that Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), a new, attractive and very stable alternative suitor, actually had dropped into her life to give her a gift that resulted from the here-to-for unknown fact that he both knew and had worked with her now deceased husband.

Without giving away the story, it is fair to say that with all of the feelings and concerns that Miranda comes to realize, there is also a lot of healing in the family and with all of the other people in the tale. The most important lesson in the story is that faith and hope are critical elements in the process of healing.

Without being “preachy,” the story touches your heartstrings, and may be a worthy substitute for the blank choices that fill the television airwaves in the midst of a pandemic.


» It is often noted that with every loss comes an opportunity. For Miranda, it was an experience to grow and heal so that she can receive what life now has to give her. How have you experienced an opportunity because of a loss?

» Faith, hope and love are essential to thriving as human beings. How do you think faith and hope grew in Miranda as she experienced a new love?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is the retired pastor of Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara and lead superintendent of Free Methodist Church in Southern California. For more reviews, visit, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

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