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Little Secrets is full of human failings and misbehavior—deceit, dishonesty, pride, fear— but strangely void of that short list of behaviors some Christians single out as inappropriate. In spite of its sanitized context, the film has enough humor and spirit to keep young viewers, and perhaps some grownups, entertained. (My full review is at Looking Closer.)

Director Blair Treu has cast some familiar television faces: Once and Again's Evan Rachel Wood has the lead role of a young violinist, Emily, and Seventh Heaven's David Gallagher plays David, the only eligible boyfriend in sight. The cheery script by Jessica Barondes focuses on Emily's dream of being a violinist in a youth symphony. As she practices for a big audition, her artistic ambition is disrupted by her unique hobby: a help stand reminiscent of the psychiatric booth hosted by Lucy in the Peanuts comic. For 50 cents a session, Emily plays Dr. Laura to her neighborhood's many adorable children, and promises not to reveal their misdeeds. All the while, though, she is hiding a deep, personal secret of her own that would shock her community. Will Emily be able to keep the secrets and earn a spot in the symphony?

Many religious press critics are beside themselves with enthusiasm for this sprightly film. Holly McClure (Crosswalk) says, "This is a well-written, wonderful story and certainly one of the more entertaining children's movies of the summer. The real secret to this gem of a movie is its meaningful message, which will make it a family favorite."

Ted Baehr (Movieguide) calls it "a beautifully crafted story. This is the type of movie that Sunday school classes could spend a long time discussing … the type of movie which families will enjoy." But he adds, "As successful ...

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August 2002

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