Stuck in a dead-end relationship and frustrated with her job, Emma (Alexandra Daddario) meets handsome stranger Jack (Tyler Hoechlin) on a flight. When the plane hits turbulence, Emma panics and over-shares, not realising that Jack is the new CEO of the company she works for. A shocked Emma tries to hide her embarrassment at work but finds that she can’t stop thinking about Jack. Deciding to make some life changes, Emma is surprised when Jack shows an interest in her and romance begins to blossom.
Can You Keep a Secret? is based on the best-selling novel by Sophie Kinsella and it’s a pretty formulaic rom-com. From the opening scene it’s obvious how the story is going to unfold and you know that the two leads are going to embark on a hurdle-filled journey to love. Emma ditches her dull, but loyal, boyfriend without so much as a second thought and throws herself into a relationship with Jack, who she hardly knows. It’s the stuff that rom-coms are made of and logic doesn’t really come into the equation.
If you put aside the ethical issues of Emma dating her boss, there’s still not a whole lot to get excited about here. The script is pretty flat and there isn’t a single surprise over the films 84-minute run-time. There’s the odd funny line here and there but Can You Keep a Secret? isn’t funny enough to get a belly laugh or dramatic enough to make you care about the characters. Emma is so one-dimensional, you’d think you were watching something from the 90s.
The biggest injustice here is that both Alexandra Daddario and Tyler Hoechlin deserve much better material. They have a degree of chemistry but both actors are constrained by the poor material they’re tasked with delivering. Alexandra has shown what she’s capable of more recently in the excellent We Summon the Darkness while Tyler Hoechlin has caused so much of a stir playing Superman in The CW DC series, that he’s getting his own spin-off. Their performances are really the only thing that’ll make sure you get to the end of this film.
Can You Keep a Secret? is a perfectly serviceable rom-com but there’s nothing particularly fresh or new about it. You know exactly what’s going to happen 10 minutes into the film and the ending won’t leave you surprised. The characters are underwritten stereotypes that tick off every rom-com cliché going, and the supporting characters are so under-used they may as well not even be there. If you’re fans of Alexandra and Tyler, you’ll want to check it out, but if you’re looking for a funny rom-com, this probably isn’t going to cut it.
Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Tyler Hoechlin, Kimiko Glenn, Laverne Cox, Sunita Mani, Judah Friedlander Director: Elise Duran Writer: Peter Hutchings Certificate: 15 Duration: 84 mins Released by: The Movie Partnership Release date: 4th May 2020