Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dirty Little Secret review: Melissa Joan Hart shines in gripping mental health drama

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Lifetime’s Dirty Little Secret explores how a daughter tries to keep her mother’s secrets after her death

A secret stays a secret until someone vows never to tell. We all have secrets and we often take them to the grave. However, occasionally we worry that secrets might be leaked, causing serious embarrassment. The Lifetime movie Dirty Little Secret follows seventeen-year-old Lucy (Lizzie Boys), who has been in strict isolation from her friends for years and is reluctant to let anyone near her home to hide her family secret.

So what exactly are the secrets Lucy wants to keep from the rest of the world and why does she never want her friends around? Lucy’s mother Joanna (Melissa Joan Hart) suffers from a hamster disease. An outwardly successful nurse, Joanna maintains the dysfunction in her home with an obsessive grip, but after a tragedy, Lucy must decide whether to keep her mother’s secret a secret or reveal it to the public.

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When Lucy was little, her house wasn’t a cluttered mess. In fact, it was kind of perfect—a clean, normal house. However, Joanna had OCD and she used to keep everything in perfect order and clean, which irritated everyone. When Lucy’s father left her, the nature of Joanna’s OCD reversed into its polar opposite, and the house that had been clean before quickly turned into a hot mess.

The film presents a beautiful mother-daughter bond. Although Lucy knew all along that her mother was wrong in trying to help her, Joanna didn’t seem to want help. The film ends on a surprising note when Joanna dies in the mess she’s been trying to keep as her treasures for the entire decade. Another unexpected twist comes when Lucy discovers her mother died in this mess, and she does what her mother taught her all along, which is to keep secrets under the rug. When Lucy can’t clean the house, she just tidies it up by setting it on fire – with her dead mother inside. That’s shocking, isn’t it?

Speaking of narrative, the writing tries hard to make it intriguing and keeps you glued to the screen, but there are a few instances that seem repetitive. However, the film doesn’t let boredom arise and spices things up quickly. Despite a slow start, it quickly picks up speed.

Melissa Joan Hart beautifully plays a mentally ill mother who believes she is doing the right thing. Lizzie Boys supports them with a grandiose performance. The film conveys the message: everyone has secrets, and sometimes the only way to keep a secret is to let it.

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