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The Secret of My Success
on 6 December 2005
Made in the era when every second film seemed to set in a New York office block “The Secret of my Success” takes a whimsical take on the office romance that whilst not being a side-splitter, is quite entertaining.
Brantley Foster is a young boy fresh from the Kansas outback. Leaving the family farm to seek his fame and fortune in New York, his mother gives him the phone number of his “Uncle” Howard Prescott, a successful executive businessman, in case things don’t work out. Soon enough Brantley is throwing himself on Uncle Howard’s mercy and is given a job in the post room of his huge corporation. It doesn’t take long for Brantley to start to extend his horizons past those of the twice daily mail run. He’s assigned to run home one of the executive’s wife one day and needless to say Brantley carries out his duties to the best of his ability. What he doesn’t know at this point though is the wife is that of none other than Uncle Howard.
Just to make matters even more complicated Brantley has designs on one of the other company executives, the very Princess Diana looking, Christy Wills. Unfortunately for Brantley Christy is currently seeing none other than Uncle Howard in a very unorthodox method of climbing the corporate ladder. What follows then is an hours worth of trouserless dashing about the office, a inter-bedroom chase of Scooby-Doo proportions and a boardroom take over of very finest 80’s tradition.
Michael J Fox is just one of those characters that you’d feel really churlish to criticise. He throws his heart into this role and his boyish good looks and innocent charm get him through the more sticky times. He only really gets good support from Margaret Whitton as Vera Prescott and she seems to have great fun with this rather silly film. Helen Slater as Christy and Richard Jordan as Howard aren’t so watchable. Both are rather hammy and more than a little embarrassing at times.
We shouldn’t be too hard on the film. At the end of the day it’s good harmless fun (although none of the characters thinks too hard about leaping in and out of bed with others) and if anything it serves as a good historical piece from the time when people were judged on the size of their shoulder pads!