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DVD Reviews: Secretary

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: March 2004
Distributed by:
Running Time: 111 minutes





The Secretary is based on the book by Erin Cressida Wilson which tells the tale of two thoroughly lost souls, that of the innocent and self-mutilating Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and the sexual perverse lawyer E. Edward Grey (James Spader) who suffers from a "lite" obsessive-compulsive disorder. The story begins with Lee just being released from a psychiatric institution for her years of self-mutilation and just when Lee thinks that her life is heading in the right direction, she learns that her father has returned to alcohol and her former childhood house is far from serene. Vowing to break her dangerous habits, Lee successfully completes a secretarial course and vows to get a job in the real world.

Enquiring about a secretarial position in the classifieds, Lee immediately gets hired by a local lawyer who is far from normal. She soon begins to be chastised by her employer that leads the two into bizarre sexual acts for Lee's purposely incompetence as a secretary. For each mistake Lee makes, E. Edward Grey sexually punishes his secretary for her forced errors. Although E. Edward Grey, played by James Spader seems a little forced and contrived, Maggie Gyllenhaal is perfectly cast as the innocent secretary who eventually blossoms into a butterfly by the end of the movie.


The video quality of the Secretary is exceptional and is extremely clear and sharp with no errors found whatsoever during the viewing of this disc. The director makes brilliant use of the colours and the disc is presented in 16x9 widescreen. One could wonder if this movie could be turned into a successful Broadway play because the majority of the movie is set inside an office.


The audio quality of the disc features Dolby Digital 5.1 and unfortunately this powerful standard isn't used to its capacity during the entire movie. That said, the audio is clear and audible but unfortunately the soundtrack of the Secretary is a little limp at the best of times.


The secretary contains the stock standard extras that include commentary by the Director and Writer, Behind the Scenes Featurette, and a Photo Gallery. Nothing special and I would of liked to have seen additional commentary by the two main actors.

The Final Say!

The Secretary was a strange movie that had me quietly laughing at the bizarre anecdotes of the two main characters and if you are after a light-hearted yet erotic comedy than I would recommend this film to all movie lovers.

Andrew B

Secretary Extras

  • Writer and Director Commentary

  • Behind the Scenes Featurette

  • Photo Gallery

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com