HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Spanks for everything

Movie: Secretary

Posted on Thu, Oct 17, 2002 at 4:00 AM

***
Secretary
Length: 1 hour, 44 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Films
Website: http://www.secretarythemovie.com/
Release Date: 2002-10-18
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Lesley Ann Warren, Jeremy Davies, Patrick Bauchau
Director: Steven Shainberg
Screenwriter: Erin Cressida Wilson, Steven Shainberg
Music Score: Angelo Badalementi
WorkNameSort: Secretary
Our Rating: 3.00

Young, mousy and just released from a mental institution, Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) hasn't quite shaken her dangerous hobby of self-mutilation. What she needs is a job -- her first ever -- to take her mind off her box of skin-puncturing tools and put her on the path to normalcy. How about performing clerical duties for a sadistic lawyer who demands perfectly typed letters but secretly craves a tender young booty to spank? It's her perfect gig.

In its first hour, "Secretary" seems a wicked satire of the masochism that binds office workers to their employers: Lee's boss, Edward Grey (James Spader), eyes her flesh like Dracula ogling Renfield's paper cuts. But as our heroine finds her sexual emancipation in taking swats from the old man, the film assumes a serious (and seriously absurd) pro-S&M stance it's up to the skilled leads to sell. Gyllenhaal's deep yearning buttresses the film's swiss-cheese argument that pain opens the door to real feeling, and that Lee and Edward are sharing a love that's right for them. Less daring viewers will note a parallel to the therapeutic properties of beating one's head against a wall. After all, it feels so good when you stop.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation