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Secretary DVD

The masochist says to the sadist, "Hurt me." The sadist replies, "No." Everybody's happy. This strange balance plays heavily into the Steven Shainberg-directed SECRETARY, based on a short story by Mary Gaitskill. Lee Holloway (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a troubled young woman with a secret, destructive addiction fueled by her mother's overprotectiveness and her father's alcoholism. Sheltered and wholly dependent on other people, Lee's only form of self-expression is in this private, painful habit. That is, until she meets her new boss, the lawyer E. Edward Gray (James Spader), who hires her as his secretary. It is exciting for Lee to hold down a job, even if she is a basket case in the office. Mr. Gray watches Lee, studies her, and slowly begins to correct both her typing errors and her personality flaws. At first Mr. Gray's dominance appears scary and overbearing, a true threat to Lee's naive, fragile psyche. But as the film carefully develops these unique characters, revealing their odd strengths and weaknesses, it becomes delightfully clear that Lee and Mr. Gray can genuinely help each other. SECRETARY is a bright, atmospheric movie that shines a light on the "fun" in this dysfunctional relationship, while using brilliant performances by Gyllenhaal and Spader to illustrate the benefits of sadomasochistic love.
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