Secretary (2002)


An emotionally damaged young woman is released from a mental institution and finds work as a secretary, where she soon embarks on a sexual relationship with her boss.

What little I knew of this film made me fear it would be an exercise in misogynistic titillation for beer-swilling macho louts. How wrong I was. What I discovered was a smart, sexy and insightful analogy for and examination of relationships and what they represent. What could easily have been misinterpreted as exploitation of an emotionally vulnerable young woman really shows how a relationship is about the needs of the individuals involved, and if they conjoin in such a way as to satisfy both, who is to judge whether or not it is “right” or “wrong”? Maggie Gyllenhaal’s evolution from self-harming neurotic to happy and fulfilled young woman is far more affirming and positive than the usual Hallmark moment inspired Hollywood rom- com churned out by the Hollywood conveyor belt.

Smart, sexy and where appropriate, genuinely funny.



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