Netflix Doc Captures St. Charles Women’s ‘Secret Love’

ST. CHARLES, IL — A new Netflix documentary tells the love story of two women who lived together in St. Charles for decades, using various cover stories to hide their relationship after falling in love in the 1940s. “A Secret Love” centers on Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel as they debate whether to get married after coming out to their families in their 80s.

The two women met in 1947 during the offseason for Donahue, who played for the Peoria Redwings in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the inspiration for the 1992 film “A League of Their Own.”

Last Surviving Rockford Peaches Player Dies At 101

Following Donahue’s career, they lived together on Third Avenue for decades, telling friends and family they were roommates trying to save a little money, uncertain if their relationship would be accepted. Director Chris Bolan, Donahue’s great-nephew, filmed the documentary between 2013 and 2018.

Read More

A Secret Love Is a Bittersweet Celebration of Two Women’s Six-Decade Romance

It’s a rare accomplishment for two people to stick together for nearly 70 years. But what’s it like to have nurtured a relationship for that long while keeping it a secret from some of the people closest to you?

That’s the territory Chris Bolan mines in his heartfelt documentary A Secret Love, streaming on Netflix, the story of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, who met and fell in love in 1947, though it would be more than 60 years before they felt they could come out to their families. In that time, they lived full and happy lives, working for the same interior-design company in Chicago and building a home in the house they owned together. In 2009, they cautiously revealed the nature of their relationship to Terry’s niece, Diana Bolan. She seemed more relieved than surprised, telling them, “Now you can tell your story.”

That story unfolds as

Read More

From Love Is Blind to The Circle, Netflix Is Getting Terrifyingly Good at Reality TV

If you plan to take “Netflix and chill” literally this Valentine’s Day, then rejoice, for the platform provides. In the tradition of risible cable reality hits like Married at First Sight and 90 Day Fiancé, its new “social experiment” Love Is Blind follows couples who’ve been thrust on the fast track to marriage. The twist is that they don’t lay eyes on each other until they’re engaged; each “date” consists solely of a chat between one man and one woman lounging in separate “pods.” (As is too often the case with dating shows, logistics exclude same-sex couples from the fantasy.) Debuting Feb. 13 and airing its finale on Feb. 27, and hosted, for some reason, by Jessica Simpson’s ex and former 98 Degree frontman Nick Lachey and his current wife, TV personality Vanessa Lachey, Love Is Blind asks whether singles who aren’t thinking with their libidos might be better

Read More

Love & Basketball Was More Than a Movie. It Changed My Whole Life

When Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball was released 20 years ago, it was celebrated as a mainstream romantic film featuring Black characters, but I treasured it for so much more.

I was living in Cambridge, Mass., nearing the end of my first year at Harvard Law School, but I had no desire to be a lawyer. I’d gone to law school because my father was a lawyer and expected me to become one, too. But the gray gloominess that hung over New England was becoming hard to distinguish from the gloom I felt in myself. I was lost in it—trapped inside an impossible cloud of other people’s opinions and expectations.

Then a bright star came into view. A young, brown-skinned girl wearing an L.A. Lakers cap and a can’t-tell-me-nothing attitude. Sitting in the Harvard Square movie theater, between two of my girls from class, I watched Monica Wright

Read More