Secret Admirer (1985)


C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher) stars as a high schooler who finds an anonymous love letter in his locker. Through serendipity, the letter and its replies fall into the hands of his parents and the parents of the girl of his dreams (Kelly Preston), wreaking havoc in everyone’s relationships. Meanwhile, it’s painfully obvious from the start that the love letter was written by Howell’s silently suffering best gal pal, played by Lori Loughlin (Full House).

Writer/director David Greenwalt would go on to write, produce, and direct for great TV shows like The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so we can forgive him if his debut feature is a poor man’s version of Some Kind of Wonderful. There’s not a single thing in Secret Admirer that will surprise you, which makes it a long slog to a conclusion you can see coming a mile away. Everyone is cast to type, with Dee Wallace playing Howell’s anxious mother, Fred Ward playing Preston’s menacing father, and Corey Haim playing Howell’s obnoxious little brother.

But even formula movies can have their moments. Secret Admirer may be most memorable for featuring two topless scenes from Miss Preston. Howell and Loughlin have a nice restaurant scene where they show promising chemistry, and Casey Siemaszko (Young Guns) plays a wise-ass who gets a few satisfying smackdowns.