Secret Society (2000)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Feminist Film  |   Release Date - Jun 7, 2002 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - Germany , United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Andrea LeVasseur

Imogen Kimmel's Secret Society is a quirky domestic drama with a good-spiritedness that keeps it far from the realm of so many gross-out comedies targeting fat people. Though it's warm and refreshing to see large women on the big screen portrayed with sensitivity, the film unfortunately suffers from a weak screenplay and shoddy production. As Daisy, Charlotte Brittain is totally convincing as a working-class Yorkshire woman trying to make ends meet by working in a factory. She honestly seems uncomfortable in her skin, especially with her dimwitted yet doting husband Kenny (Lee Ross) excessively fetishizing her ample proportions. However, her evolution into Mistress Great White Jellyfish isn't quite believable due to a lack of sumo wrestling scenes. Too much screen time goes to the lame subplot of Kenny's decent into alcoholism and UFO obsession. The stale dialogue and feeble editing techniques could've been overlooked by some sorely needed visceral sumo action. The excellent costumes, make-up, and physical presence of the women is visually effective but unfortunately underused. To be fair, this labor-of-love took over six years to secure enough funding, so the low production values can be somewhat excused. A movie about a meek housewife's transition into an empowered sumo wrestler could've been more rewarding, but at least somebody had the guts to give it a try.