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  Can You Keep a Secret? Plane Speaking
Year: 2019
Director: Elise Duran
Stars: Alexandra Daddario, Tyler Hoechlin, Sunita Mani, Kimiko Glen, Laverne Cox, Judah Friedlander, Robert King, Kate Easton, Bobby Tisdale, Ashlyn Alessi, Sam Asghari, David Ebert, Sydney Veronica Lee, Olga D. Bogdanova, Chris LeMonda, Crystal Tweed
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Emma Corrigan (Alexandra Daddario) needs a promotion to secure her job at PR for a health drink company which has branched out into snacks, but while the heads of that company believe their target audience are young hipsters, she is well aware they actually do far better with an older age group: think retirees. However, as this is an unpopular fact that will not advance her prospects any, she is keeping it to herself until one day on a business meeting to Chicago she blurts it out, and it doesn't go down well with the section supervisor, especially since she accidentally spurts the soft drink all over him in an overemphatic moment. On the way back home to New York City, she is not feeling great, so gets as drunk as she can without being thrown off the flight. Then the turbulence starts...

The romcom genre hit the doldrums in the twenty-first century as it appeared nobody was able to make them properly anymore without having their lead couples look like maniacs, so thin were the ideas now it appeared as if the style was played out. But even the stupidest romcom has its fans, since the most logic you look for in them is whether you would like to see these two people get together at the end of the film or not: if the answer is yes, you are willing to forgive a lot, and that included some surprising degrees of obnoxious behaviour. Meanwhile, as the majors struggled to produce a satisfying example, indies and streaming picked up the baton and romcom junkies resorted to staying in to get their hit of silly but swooning yarns, to the extent that they were dominating significantly.

Can You Keep a Secret? was one of those indies: it patently had not had a whole lot of money thrown at it, and the cast were there because they evidently thought it was something they wanted to be a part of rather than dreaming it would be a blockbuster, but sometimes that is enough to generate a lot of goodwill even if the audience can be limited. What fans of the format would want to know would be whether the journey it traced from meet cute to predictable finale was worth it, and the answer to that was, yeah, it probably was, unless you were a big fan of Sophie Kinsella's source novel in which case there would be grumbles at how much was changed (like from British to American locations). Otherwise, engagingly daffy Daddario had chemistry with her screen beau Tyler Hoechlin, playing her boss.

She doesn't know that when they sit beside each other on that bumpy flight, but they soon get to know one another very well, or at least he does get to know her, for in her tipsy terror she blabs her whole life story and all her secrets. The point was that Emma believes herself to be too flawed to accept love from an ostensibly perfect bloke like Hoechlin's Jack Harper, designed to make us warm to her as we can see she simply needs a little TLC to make her bloom, which she is not getting from her idiot boyfriend (David Ebert) or her work colleagues (like stern but understanding superior Laverne Cox) - or even from her roommates (Sunita Mani and Kumiko Glenn). But what is Jack's secret? We are intended to take away that everyone has secrets and it's nothing to be ashamed of, and unless you've murdered someone and hidden the body that's true for most of us, so when his is revealed it is gauged on the "no big deal" end of the scale, so as not to break the spell of some low stakes drama. Part office comedy, part romantic wish-fulfilment, and mostly quite sweet, this was proof romcom addicts need not give up hope of finding the movie of their dreams. Music by Jeff Cardoni.

[Can You Keep A Secret? will be available on Digital Download from 4th May and can be pre-ordered by clicking here.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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