The Secret: Dare to Dream is a 2020 American drama film based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Directed by Andy Tennant, from a screenplay he wrote with Bekah Brunstetter and Rick Parks, it stars Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, Jerry O'Connell, and Celia Weston.
The film was released in the United States through video on demand and theatrically in several countries, on July 31, 2020, by Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions and Gravitas Ventures. The film was not well-received by critics.
The crux of this film is the belief of one of the lead characters in positive thinking, which re-ignites the spirits of the second lead character and her family.
The story is set in New Orleans. Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes) is a hard-working young widow struggling to raise three children. There's a storm brewing in the area. She works for a fish shop owned by Tucker (Jerry O'Connell), her boyfriend. Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas) is an engineering professor from Vanderbilt University looking to meet Miranda to deliver a package. Bray visits Miranda's house to drop off a letter, but she's not home. He speaks only to her son Greg Wells (Aidan Pierce Brennan) and decides to come back later.
While driving back home, after picking up her two daughters, older Missy Wells (Sarah Hoffmeister) and younger Bess Wells (Chloe Lee) from school, Miranda hits a truck whose driver turns out to be Bray. Bray offers to fix the broken bumper for Miranda and as they drive back realizes that it is the same Miranda he came looking for. Bray and Greg fix the car bumper.
There's a hurricane brewing in the background. The family readies for dinner, inviting Bray and the younger Bess wanting pizza and Miranda feeling bad not being able to provide it. Bray then stresses positive thinking and its power, and maybe there could be pizza. There's a knock on the door by pizza delivery from Tucker. This event will be the first of the many positive things happening in Miranda's life. While Bray prepares to leave, he starts to bring up the envelope (the reason why he's there in the first place), but the kids scream, and she goes. Bray leaves the envelope in the postbox.
That night the hurricane gets terrible, and a tree log falls through and creates a hole through the roof. The family is scared and shelters in the bathroom, which is the safest place. The following day, the family mulls over their bad luck, as usual. Bray comes over to check on them and offers to fix the roof as best as he can. Miranda's mother-in-law Bobby (Celia Weston) drops by and studies on the family, and is very wary of Bray from the start. Miranda and the kids leave with Bobby to stay over at Bobby's house while the house is fixed. On the way, they drop by to visit Tucker, who also comes to know about Bray and feels a little threatened and insecure.
The next day, the family goes back to the house that Bray has fixed, all very happy. The garage is still blocked by a fallen tree which also Bray offers to clear up. That evening, at Tucker's restaurant, he proposes to Miranda, which she reluctantly accepts. Bobby offers to stay with the kids that night so Tucker and Miranda can be alone. The next day, as Bray clears the logs from the broken tree, Missy and he have a conversation about her birthday celebration the next day. Bray motivates her to find something to celebrate with her friends that made her happy. They decide on taffy when Miranda drives back in her new car, a gift from Tucker.
At the birthday party, Bobby brings up a news article about an invention with Bray's photo on it. The story was also something Miranda's late husband was also linked to. Bobby assumes that Bray stole the design, and Miranda confronts Bray. He explains that he and her husband were working on it together, but he died in the fateful plane crash, and Bray survived. Bray tries to explain as best as he can that his sole purpose was to give a copy of the patent. But Miranda is heartbroken that Bray didn't talk about it earlier, feels Bray's concern was more sympathy than empathy, asks him to leave.
Bray leaves and sends a copy to Miranda the next day. Miranda is overwhelmed with the figure involved in the patent, chats with the kids about their money problems going away, Miranda wanting to pursue her nursing career. Greg now tells Miranda about Bray's first visit. The family finally starts to relax with Missy getting a computer as a birthday present, going out for dinner. They discover the washed away mailbox with the original copy of the patent, which made Bray honest about his intentions. Bray goes back to Knoxville but still aching to speak to Miranda. Miranda calls off her engagement with Tucker after realizing she does not truly love him and quits her job.
A few days later, Miranda ends up at Bray's house to clear the air and meets with his sister, who exclaims that Bray has gone to Miranda's house. Later that day, while driving back, they chat over the phone about this funny incident and finally meet up at a waffle house, embracing each other with warmth and genuine affection. The next shot is of everyone at Bray's home putting up a Christmas tree. There a honk at the door, and when the family goes out to check on it, they see a pony (Bess's wish) and a happy, whole, cheerful family.