(Michael Pattinson, Australia, 1992)


Secrets is a spirited Australian teen movie that borrows the premise of Robert Zemeckis' I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) – four Beatlemaniacs and a disgruntled rocker tangle in a hotel where the Fab Four are staying while on tour – and elaborates it in the manner of John Hughes' The Breakfast Club (1985).

While emulating some of the best elements of these American models, director Michael Pattinson and writer Jan Sardi also inject a laconic sense of humour and a wealth of local detail.

It's essentially a talk-fest of taunts, confessions and rapprochements, enlivened by some spectacularly edited interludes that include archival footage of the Beatles' visit to Australia.

After so many ingenious and lively scenes, the absence of anything resembling an ending comes as a rude shock.

The young ensemble cast, including Dannii Minogue, Beth Champion and Malcolm Kennard, is blended well, with the biggest laughs generated by Noah Taylor – cinema's live action equivalent to Daffy Duck.

MORE Pattinson: Ground Zero

MORE Australian teens: Lex and Rory, The Still Point, BMX Bandits, The Heartbreak Kid, Looking for Alibrandi

© Adrian Martin October 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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