Movie: Secretary

secretary1Number 95 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days is: Watch ‘The Secretary’ with James Spader. Why have I put this on my 101 list? First of all, because I did not want to forget about the movie. I tend to want to do things and then just forget about it. Over the years I have learned to send myself a reminder email, but that is not always the best method. Putting it on my 101 list was a full proof method to not forget about watching this movie. The second reason I put it on there was because I was intrigued. The movie ‘Secretary’ was mentioned in the time that the entire discussion of Fifty Shades was raging through Twitter. Words such as ‘a million times better than Fifty Shades’ and ‘one of the best BDSM movies out there’ was what convinced me I wanted to see it.

We wanted to buy it, but it turned out that the movie was only available in the US. We tried other means to find it and eventually Master T found a version that had Danish subtitles. The movie was acquired and only a month later I at last made time to watch it. And once I have seen it, I wanted to see it again. And again. You get it.

This is what the IMDB says about Secretary:
Lee Holloway is a smart, quirky woman in her twenties who returns to her hometown in Florida after a brief stay in a mental hospital. In search of relief from herself and her oppressive childhood environment, she starts to date a nerdy friend from high school and takes a job as a secretary in a local law firm, soon developing an obsessive crush on her older boss, Mr. Grey. Through their increasingly bizarre relationship, Lee follows her deepest longings to the heights of masochism and finally to a place of self-affirmation.

Scenes from the movie

Increasingly bizarre relationship? Yes, I suppose for the setting they were in – as boss and secretary – it might be a bizarre relationship, but I found it exciting to see. There were some scenes that I really wished had more to it, that more imagery was shown of the actual BDSM acts and not only a snippet to get a feel of it. But I guess that back in 2002 and even today, the general public does not want to be ‘confronted’ by BDSM scenes and therefore the makers of the movie have chosen to portray some aspects superficially.

Two scenes in the movie I have found on Youtube. The first one is where he has her bending over the desk, reading a letter and he spanks her. The other is where she is bent over the desk, her skirt pulled up, her panties and stockings pulled down and he masturbates behind her and climaxes on her back. There is a third scene where her submission is really portrayed beautifully. In this scene he tells her to keep her hands on the desk and her feet in one place. She does, for days. The entire movie builds up to this point.

It’s not only her sexual development that comes alive in the movie, but you also see his doubts about himself. He considers himself to be disgusting and sends her away, because he knows if she stays he will not stop dominating her. She begs to stay, but he is adamant.

Even though this is an eleven year old movie, I surely recommend it to everyone, whether you are in a BDSM relationship or not. Don’t expect it to be a ‘manual’ because that it definitely is not. Even though I would have loved to see more depth in some of the scenes, I found the movie to portray the acts of dominance and submission in a way that make it easy for people to understand, if they are open to accept that there are different kinds of relationships out there.

Β© Rebel’s Notes

12 thoughts on “Movie: Secretary

  1. SasyCat says:

    I remember seeing this when it first came out, then running to the store to buy the DVD. I was really turned on it. I loved the way it ended, that they tried to “fit” into what & how society wants everyone to, and they found a way to work out their relationship just for them. It’s then that I realized that there truly are no rules, just guidelines on relationships. What works for me might not work for someone else & vice versa.
    Sidenote: a bizarre movie starring James Spader was “Crash” in which he meets a group of people who are sexually aroused by car wrecks.

    • I really am a huge fan of the Secretary and think I will watch it many times more.

      In the meantime I have downloaded “Crash” and will soon watch it πŸ™‚

  2. I only watched Secretary recently too, at S’s insistence. I really enjoyed it and thought pretty much the same as you – trying to be acceptable to a wider audience, whilst still showing elements of BDSM.

    The bit I didn’t like about it was Lee’s backstory. Obviously a film has to have an easy-to-grasp backstory to help the plot move forward, but it still shows someone who’s “damaged” enjoying kink, rather than someone enjoying it because it’s intrinsic to their nature.

    • I agree, the part of showing her as someone who is damaged, was not really necessary in the movie, but other than that this is a really great movie πŸ™‚

    • It’s interesting, that’s exactly how I felt when I first watched the movie years ago. I was angry at it for that detail for quite a while — and that he was kind of broken, too, in his own way.
      Over the years I watched it a lot more often and now I love her backstory. I think I love it all because it makes her starkly real for me, it says that you can be broken and when you look hard enough to can find something, someone who plugs into the right place and together you are not broken anymore. After watching it many times, I started to feel like his special kind of love made her un-broken, not the bdsm and like she would have enjoyed bdsm anyway, cutting backstory or no πŸ™‚

      • I like your point of view, that her being broken makes her very real for you. After thinking about your comment for some time, I came to the conclusion that all of us are broken in some way. We all had our ups and downs in our lives and the degrees of being broken vary. However, not all people who are broken are in a BDSM relationship, which means that if the general public out there say that all people in a BDSM relationship are broken, then it also rings true for all people in a vanilla or poly or gay relationship, and even for people who are not in a relationship at all. Thank you so much for your comment πŸ™‚

  3. SYN says:

    I agree that it would have been wonderful to see more, but the overview we did get was pretty erotic, and the ending was lovely. I saw it in 2011 and I almost wish I had seen it when it first came out. James Spader tended to play some really edgy roles. There was another movie, Crash, with Holly Hunter that had similar erotic overtones.

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