So. You walk into an office. There’s the secretary. She’s sweet (mostly). Polite. “Stereotypical” crosses your mind. Ha ha ha ha ha….how wrong you are. Welcome to a different kind of workplace. Let me show you Secretary (2002).
Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is trying to adjust back into society after been released from hospital following some serious self inflicted injuries. She applies for a position with attorney Edward (with James Spader perfect in this role). She’s not phased by the fact that there is no technology and that she’s probably overqualified for the position. So, in this very strange working environment, Edward discovers that Lee has a tendency towards inflicting pain on herself. He quite likes this idea along with her always doing exactly what he tells her. Little by little, mainly at the office (if I remember correctly), unfolds this relationship of pain infliction and pain reception i.e. BDSM. In a non-graphic way I might add. And never heavy, heavy thematically.
The scene I’ll never forget is (spoiler alert) where Lee, having fled from her future groom in wedding attire, ends up in Edward‘s office…sitting for hours on end at his desk having been instructed not to move her hands or feet from the position her sadistic boss found her in. True love?
Golden Globe nominated for Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s performance, this is well worth seeing. And James Spader…well, he’s so good at these, dare I say, slightly sleazy roles. But leave your expectations at the door. It is not a movie filled with graphical S word scenes. And yes, while it is indicated as a “romantic comedy drama”, I personally link it is more “romantic drama”. There are light bits but I can clearly remember entering the cinema expecting a comedy type movie and leaving thinking it wasn’t that at all.
Be daring. Watch this one.