You could call this low-conflict lollygagger Intro to Manifestation, given that its purpose seems to be to intrigue viewers who are new to the concept of "The Secret." The Secret is about believing that the universe is a genie of sorts: Believe you can have or achieve something, and you will. Or, as Secret-follower Bray explains to Miranda's kids: Your thoughts are like a magnet, using an invisible force to draw what you think about to you. To the unfamiliar, it may sound like a bunch of new-age mumbo-jumbo -- or, as the kids' grandmother says to Vanderbilt professor Bray, "Are you sure you're not from California?" However, the way The Secret: Dare to Dream lays it out, it's more about your attitude. Think positive. Believe in yourself. And, as the title indicates, it's OK to be a dreamer.
Just like Byrne's original how-to book, money and material goods are the rewards of using The Secret. It's less noticeable here -- Miranda has significant financial debts she's trying to dig out from under -- but, ultimately, even a child's grandiose wish comes true, which might make parents a bit uncomfortable. And it's hard to overlook a giant common-sense hole in the story. Bray didn't really have to be so mysterious, and you're going to have to suspend your disbelief to really enjoy this film. It's hard to prove that a life theory works in the context of a fictional story, so the messaging is a bit weak. But, then again, the point seems to be to get audiences to go do some research and likely buy the manual. While the content is family friendly, most kids and teens aren't that interested in middle-age romance. Bottom line? The Secret: Dare to Dream is a nice but not terribly entertaining film that does no harm -- nor does it do as much good as it intends.