A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The only path to true love is being true to yourself. Cautionary tale: Getting romantically involved with the boss often creates more challenges than opportunities. Communication is a clear theme.
Positive Role Models
This film is told from the female perspective, and those telling the story include a female director, female producers, and female cinematographer. While the main characters match the Hollywood norm (awkward, average White girl falls for rich, handsome White guy), positive diversity choices include casting a Black transgender actress to play a tough but compassionate boss who's an excellent leader.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters aren't shown having sex, but there's plenty of talk, innuendo, and implications of it happening under the covers. On a first date, a couple engages in a passionate make-out session during which clothes come off; the film then cuts to a post-sex cuddle. In a comically graphic scene, one character explains to another what he's doing right and wrong in bed, gesturing with hands and tongue. A woman consistently dresses in clothing that's meant to be interpreted as revealing. A naked rear end is completely exposed in a way that's not meant to be appealing.
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Multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "douche bag," "goddamn," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).
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Products & Purchases
Apple computers in an office. Tinder and My Little Pony are referred to for a laugh.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine is served in social situations. It's implied (but not crystal clear) that the main character drank too much sparkling wine, which leads to behavior that causes a handsome man to fall for her.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Can You Keep a Secret? is a romcom based on a popular novel by Sophie Kinsella. The film explores the idea that we hide who we really are from other people, thinking they'd reject or ridicule us if they knew our true selves. It shows that communicating and sharing vulnerabilities are tools that can bring couples together -- but so, it suggests, is Champagne. After drinking too much, main character Emma (Alexandra Daddario) reveals her secrets to a stranger, which he finds appealing. Emma has a couple of workplace romances, including secretly dating the founder of the company. Characters are in their late 20s/early 30s, and there are many sexual situations, plus innuendo and blunt gesturing; they also curse ("f--k," "s--t,"etc.). The supporting cast is notably diverse. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.