Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Blair Treu|
|Produced by||Jessica Barondes
|Written by||Jessica Barondes|
|Starring||Evan Rachel Wood
|Music by||Sam Cardon|
|Edited by||Jerry Stayner|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
Little Secrets is a 2001 independent comedy-drama film starring Evan Rachel Wood, Michael Angarano, and David Gallagher. It premiered in the Heartland Film Festival in October 2001, and made its limited theatrical release on August 23, 2002.
Emily Lindstrom (Evan Rachel Wood), an aspiring 14-year-old violinist, spends her summer practicing for an audition to get into the InterMountain Youth Symphony Orchestra in Salt Lake City, Utah, while her two best friends, Laurel and Jenny, go off to camp. She also runs a secret-keeping business, in which other children give her fifty cents to tell her a secret, which she promises to keep; this is a talent that she is normally very good at. Meanwhile, her parents are expecting another child and seem to care more about it than her.
New neighbors move in next door, including Philip (Michael Angarano). During the move, he accidentally breaks a valued chess piece and is caught by Emily as he attempts to bury it in the front garden. He pays her fifty cents to keep his deed a secret, and to hide the piece in her treasure trunk (along with other broken property from her other clients, in paper bags labeled with their names).
When Philip decides to join Emily in an afternoon tea session using her family's expensive china, they accidentally break two of the teacups. She is faced with the challenge of keeping her own secret and having someone else know about it. Meanwhile, as he begins falling for her, his brother, David (David Gallagher), enters the picture. He had been at tennis camp, but was sent back home because he allegedly got drunk and was involved in a car accident. Philip tells her this family secret in exchange that she tells him a secret about her secret greetings with her friends. She starts getting upset, and says that a person who drinks and drives will do it again, before storming off. She then starts to lose her secret-keeping talent as she falls for David. He also begins falling for her, which makes Philip jealous.
During her mother's baby shower, David tries to talk to Emily and she reveals that she knows how he was expelled from tennis camp. After, she goes to get her violin from the roof and falls to the ground, necessitating a trip to the hospital. While she is there, her mother gives birth to her sister, Grace. Everyone is by her hospital bed except David, who is eavesdropping behind the curtain. They ask if Grace looks like she did when she was a baby, and she reveals that she is adopted. Her birth parents were killed when she was 10 months old after being struck by a drunk driver, and it's considered a miracle that she lived. The driver spent one year in prison and after being released crashed into someone else's car and killed himself one month later. Upon hearing this, David feels very guilty and understands why she despises him so much. After she is released from the hospital, she and Philip return all of the paper bags to her clients. To thank him, she kisses him on the cheek. Then David appears, and gives him her first official kiss.
- Evan Rachel Wood as Emily Lindstrom - She is a talented violinist who hopes to be in an orchestra. She is best friends with Jenny and Laurel. Her adopted parents are Caroline and Eddie.
- Michael Angarano as Philip Lenox - David's younger brother and Don's and Elaine's youngest son and second child.
- David Gallagher as David Lenox - Philip's older brother and Don's and Elaine's first son and eldest child.
- Vivica A. Fox as Pauline
- Jan Gardner as Caroline Lindstrom
- Rick Macy as Eddie Lindstrom
- Paul Kiernan as Don Lenox
- Tayva Patch as Elaine Lenox
- Danielle Chuchran as Lea
- Caitlin Meyer as Isabelle
- Micah Schow as Gregory
- Landon Kunzelman as Mikey
- RuDee Lipscomb as Laurel
- Haley McCormick as Jenny
- Joey Miyashima as Dr. Mezzie
Little Secrets received mixed reviews upon release. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 60% rating, with the consesus stating "Little Secrets is wholesome entertainment for the kids, but also rather bland." IMDb's rating is 6 stars. Both the VHS and DVD releases on Amazon.com have a 5 and a half stars rating. It also has won a Film Advisory Board award. Ebert & Roeper gave the film "Two Thumbs Up".