Picks and Pans Review: The Secret
Kirk Douglas stars in this sluggish family melodrama as the owner of a quaint general store on Cape Cod. He dotes on his 9-year-old grandson (Jesse Tendler), but Douglas's cranberry-farming son (Bruce Boxleitner) finds the close relationship between the old man and the boy a rankling reminder of the neglect he experienced when he was growing up. The movie grinds slower and slower as plot lines about dyslexia and a local election are introduced.
Cynthia Cherbak's script is so histrionic and mawkish ("Oh, Dad, I know you'd cut off your arm for that boy. Talk to Patrick. Swallow your pride") that it makes the whole cast look fatuous. By the way, it's unlikely someone with a reading disability would be as confounded as Douglas is by Boston's mass transit system, which is color-coded. Even the most severe dyslexic can find the Red Line.