A movie about a teenager that wouldn't have credibility with anyone over the age of 12, "Little Secrets" is something akin to a Wonderful World of Disney special -- harmless, wholesome and just barely winning enough to overcome its fantasy-suburban, Norman Rockwell nature.
It's the story of Emily (Evan Rachel Wood, also in this week's "Simone"), a pretty 14-year-old who is at an age when her priorities are moving toward pursuing her gift for the violin and away from her lemonade-stand style "business" as a professional confessor. For 50 cents per secret, intelligent, outgoing Emily has provided confidentiality and advice to neighborhood kids who have broken parents' favorite trinkets, smuggled kittens into their bedrooms or posed as their big sisters in online chat rooms.
The pat-on-the-head plot revolves both around Emily's friendship with Philip, an 11-year-old new neighbor who has a crush on her (played by Michael Angarano, the pre-teen William Miller in "Almost Famous") and around her upcoming audition for a youth orchestra. But at the same time, her secret-keeping is becoming a burden, as she starts hearing mea culpas she wishes she hadn't -- like the fact that Philip's petulant proto-boy-band cute older brother (David Gallagher) was in a joy-riding accident with a friend who had been drinking. Emily's disproportionately piqued reaction to this tidbit hints heavily at a secret of her own that the rest of the movie builds toward revealing.
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