Parents' Guide to

Can You Keep a Secret?

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

"Be yourself" romcom has strong messages, sexual situations.

Movie NR 2019 94 minutes
Can You Keep a Secret? Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

Cute, predictable, romantic comedy but too much sexual content for younger crowd

Read the book as an adult and enjoyed it. Cute romantic comedy but several scenes with sexual humor and oral sex. Too graphic for preteens and young teens. Cute premise with positive messaging about being yourself. No nudity, but an oral sex scene with a head coming out from under a blanket and then going back down. Several discussions with explicit critique of sexual technique. Without a few of the scenes the age rating would change significantly, but unfortunately not a movie most parents would feel comfortable watching with their teens. I’m glad I previewed it.
age 15+

Worthwhile, fun, and has a good lesson in the end.

I almost didn't let me 15 yr old watch it due to the review that mentions a scarring oral sex scene. Turns out, nothing is actually shown, everything is implied under a blanket. You also see the butt of the boyfriend while he's standing up. Aside from those two things, nothing major and worth a look for the refreshing take on modern relationships and the role of honesty and disclosure and give and take.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This romcom lacks both polish and information, but the plot points, dialogue, and characters suggest that the novel is a must-read. Not that Can You Keep a Secret? doesn't try hard -- it does. And no one tries harder than Daddario (who's also an executive producer): She's believable as the awkward, mousy Emma, who can't believe that a handsome, successful man is interested in her. And overall, the film is a strong example of diversity. What's really remarkable is how unremarkably the story includes a mix of races, sexualities, and genders in all of its roles (including Black transgender actress Laverne Cox as a wonderful boss who's commanding yet caring). You don't even think about it, and it's not seen as special -- it just is. It's that kind of representation that eventually changes the world.

And it makes sense, because that's the moral of this story: Be comfortable in your skin, because what makes you unique is what makes you lovable. That's a message that today's teens need to hear in a world in which social media encourages them to show the filtered, Photoshopped, happy version of themselves. Here, we get dancing lawyers, a body-positive roommate, and a boyfriend who unapologetically goes pantsless in safe spaces. All are embracing who they are no matter what others think -- after all, the person who will fall in love with you will fall in love with you. Can You Keep a Secret? provides both laugh-out-loud moments and cringey ones. It could be much better, but it deserves praise for its positive messages and representations that come through loud and clear.

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