Fatal Secrets Revealed March 29 on DVD
With a cast list boasting Dina Meyer, Vincent Spano, Lea Thompson, Lela Rochon, Ed Begley, Jr., Ernie Hudson, and Tess Harper, one might expect big things from Fatal Secrets, a thriller originally titled Balancing the Books 2009.
Fatal Secrets is a rape/revenge story and its greatest achievement is creating a character who is so thoroughly unpleasant (Vincent Spano as Scott/William) the audience hopes someone takes him out in the first reel. Dina Meyer stars as the beautiful, successful, divorced bookseller Julia who unfortunately hooks up with Scott via internet dating. Cute, personable, and sociopathic, Scott shows up at her door with flowers after their first meeting.
Julia accepts the flowers and invites Scott into her large, elegant home. Despite its size and elegance, the only place Julia will go for a vase is her bedroom. Scott sneaks up on her, starts groping, and rapes her. When he leaves, Julia immediately jumps into the shower and does a thorough scrub job destroying all evidence of the rape. After all, this strong independent woman can’t face going to the police and through the process of a trial.
One has to ask, “Why did she go to the bedroom?” Surely a nasty piece of work like Scott would rape her in any room of the house, so what’s the point of putting the scene in her boudoir? To convince us that she’s—at the very least—dumb? As she scrubs away the evidence, we are convinced that she’s not dumb, it’s the script that’s stupid.
When Julia finally tells her friends (Lea Thompson as Rebecca and Lela Rochon as Sharlene) what happened, the three women plot vengeance. Despite their planning, their actions are laughably inept. Sharlene and Julia break into Scott’s house to discover his “true” identity, and—knowing they have limited time—after they’ve completed their search, they sit down in the living room for some conversation. This movie has been touted as “character-driven” which seems to mean “lots of talk, little action.”Continued on the next page