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March 15, 2011

FMWL Indie Spotlight - Fatal Secrets

(2009, Dir. by Meir Sharony.)

When I look at the cast list involved with Fatal Secrets, it's easy to see that the film falls far from what I usually cover in FMWL's Indie Spotlight.  You've got Starship Troopers babe Dina Meyer (Note from The Mike: Hey Dina Meyer, I love you!).  You've got Marty McFly's frakin mom, Lea Thompson.  You've got recognizable faces in Lela Rochon, Ed Begley Jr., and Tess Harper, AND you've got a bonafide GHOSTBUSTER in Ernie Hudson.  It's an odd collection of actors who have shown up in A-list films, which is sad when you consider what Fatal Secrets turns out to be.

Meyer stars in the film - whose bland title is at least better than the original title, Balancing the Books (I mean, who doesn't want to see a movie that sounds like it's about an accountant?) - as a woman traumatized by an encounter with a successful male suitor (Vincent Spano), who is shown forcing himself on her just before she's shown crying in the shower and waking up from a bad dream.  Is the film trying to be ambiguous, or does it just not feel like going through with a brutal scene due to lazy filmmaking?  Unfortunately, that might be the best question to ponder about the film.

While I'm certainly 110% plus infinity against rape, it's kind of important to know what's going on in the lead's mind if we're going to have a rape and revenge film, and Fatal Secrets doesn't even make us sure a rape happens.  It follows up by showing Mr. Potential Rapist denying anything happened, which leads Meyer's character to alternate between being upset and having normal book club dates with Rochon and Thompson's characters.  These lead to a bit of home invasion, some implications of fraud, and the final confrontation which is foreshadowed on the DVD art above.

With a likable cast and the ambiguous opening, I had early hopes for Fatal Secrets.  Unfortunately, it dropped the ball quickly and meandered through its 88 minute length.  Meyer still looks great - the film has me longing for a big dose of Starship Troopers and a side of cheesy Bats action - and the film is better for having her in it, but the final product needed more action or more sleaze to achieve any dramatic weight.  Instead it's a dull, lifeless film that makes me sad to see so many actors who made an impact toiling in mediocrity.

It's a lazy film that doesn't throw any punches, and I'm thus rewarding it with a lazy review.  The film is out on DVD today, but I recommend you go ahead and skip this one.

1 comment:

Malice said...

Damn. I was looking forward to it due to the cast, same as you. Ah, who am I kidding, I'll probably still watch it.