The power of positive thinking fueled Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling book and documentary The Secret, released in 2006.
More than a decade later, her philosophy of hope continues to inspire in the romantic drama The Secret: Dare to Dream.
Lionsgate will release the film on premium VOD July 31 as a 48-hour rental at $19.99. Before the PVOD shift due to the pandemic, sister company Roadside Attractions had planned an initial theatrical release April 17 on 1,000-plus screens.
The Secret: Dare to Dream stars Katie Holmes (All We Had, Logan Lucky, The Gift) and Josh Lu-cas (Sweet Home Alabama, What They Had, “Yellowstone”) with Jerry O’Connell (“Billions,” Stand by Me) and Celia Weston (Knight and Day, The Intern). It is directed by Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama).
“The idea behind making a Hollywood movie of The Secret was to reach a much greater audience around the world, so that many more people will realize the power they have to create the life they want, from this very moment,” says Byrne.
The story centers on Miranda (Holmes), a young widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children and dating her boyfriend (O’Connell). A devastating storm brings an enormous challenge and a mysterious man, Bray (Lucas), into Miranda’s life. Bray reignites the family’s spirit but, unbeknownst to Miranda, also holds an important secret — one that will change everything. Woven throughout the story are a series of seeming coincidences. The characters — primarily through the pessimistic Miranda and the relentlessly optimistic Bray — contemplate the nature of chance.
“What are the odds?” notes Miranda’s son about their meeting with Bray.
“My whole life is like that gut feeling that something bad is going to happen — and then it does,” Miranda says at one point.
Meanwhile, Bray sees good portent in events.
“I’m open to the possibility that whatever happens — even the bad stuff — can lead to positive things,” he tells Miranda’s family.
“Miranda, played by Katie Holmes in our film, has been facing significant challenges brought about by very difficult circumstances,” says producer Robert Katz (Crash). “Although she worked very hard at her job, managing her limited fi nances, raising her children as a single mom and navigating a relationship, Miranda expected and believed that these circumstances would not change. They would not get better. Her life was hard and she was doing her best to face them every day. She was in survival mode — something many of us are familiar with, especially these days. When an unexpected visitor enters her life, Miranda slowly begins to believe that she has the power to change her thoughts, and with them, her expectations and her life.”
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Shot through the feel-good film is the inspirational message in Byrne’s The Secret.
“The movie demonstrates how easy it is to change our life through changing our thinking,” Byrne says. “We can have life circumstances coming down hard on us, as is demonstrated in the movie, and yet by simply thinking more positively and being grateful we can change every aspect of our life.”
Byrne discovered the idea for The Secret in 2004, after a string of personal obstacles and the death of her father. Her daughter gave her a copy of Wallace D. Wattles’ self-help book The Science of Getting Rich, and she used what she learned to write and produce The Secret. A documentary was released in March 2006 with the book debuting in November 2006, published by Simon & Schuster. In each, Byrne interviews business leaders and entrepreneurs who reveal real-life stories of how they have changed their lives in profound ways. The documentary and book focus on the power of positive thinking and the “Law of Attraction,” which says that people can manifest their thoughts into reality — that “thoughts become things.”
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The Secret book has sold more than 34 million copies worldwide, has been translated into 50 languages and appeared on The New York Times best-seller list for 190 weeks — and it con-tinues to attract fans. More than 7 million copies of the book have been shipped in the United States since 2006.
The film’s marketing campaign leverages the publishing phenomenon. A movie tie-in edition of the book released earlier this year features the film’s key art on a belly band. Simon & Schuster has already posted a trailer for the movie, with a book shot, on the Amazon detail page of The Secret.
Meanwhile, the documentary film The Secret has been a success on disc as well.
In extending the brand of the book and documentary, Byrne says her ultimate aim is that The Secret: Dare to Dream will be another vehicle to spread her message.
“I truly hope that people will realize from this movie that they are not at the mercy of life’s circumstances, but that they have an untapped power to change every aspect of their life — health, money, relationships, happiness, success — into what they want,” Byrne says.
Katz adds that he wants viewers to take away the film’s message “that things can change for the better and belief that the power (and tools) to make the most meaningful changes in our lives and the lives of others lies within us all.”