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Movie Review

Junior marketing assistant Emma Corrigan is a wreck. She can’t seem to hold down a job, she’s constantly fumbling over her words, and she has the confidence of a mouse.

After one bad sales pitch, Emma boards a plane home, expecting to hear the worst once she lands. But the worst comes sooner than that when the plane begins to experience frightening turbulence. Thinking she might die, Emma confesses her most embarrassing, personal secrets to the handsome stranger sitting next to her.

The next day, Emma shows up to work and learns that yesterday’s handsome stranger is actually the CEO of the company she works for. She’s horrified, of course. But Jack Harper isn’t put off by her unguarded vulnerability. Soon, they’re seeing each other.

After a few dates, Emma’s falling in love with Jack. But she soon realizes that while she’s been an open book, Jack’s life is still a closely guarded mystery.

Positive Elements

Emma slowly gains confidence as Jack affirms her and tells her she is worth loving. She also learns that relationships require vulnerability and trust.

Jack, for his part, is a kind man who genuinely wants to make his company a better place. He gives Emma confidence in herself and makes it clear that he tries to be selfless.

Emma’s roommate, Lissy, is thoughtful and selfless, always encouraging Emma and providing a listening ear when it’s needed. Casey, one of Emma’s closest male friends, gives sound advice and defends Emma.

Spiritual Content

Emma reads her and Jack’s daily horoscope. Emma says, “The world works in mysterious ways.”

Sexual Content

Emma and her boyfriend early in the film, Connor, lie in bed together, fully clothed. Later, Connor walks around his apartment without pants (we see his fully exposed rear), and Emma stares at his genitals (visible to her, not the camera). Elsewhere, she tries to have sex with Connor at work. (We again see his unclothed rear, while Emma’s in a revealing tank top and skirt.)

Emma is trapped on a plane with Jack and begins to share intimate details about her personal life during a turbulence scare, such as how her current boyfriend isn’t performing sexually (We see a flashback to a scene suggesting that he’s performing oral sex on her.) Emma also makes some crude comments comparing male and female genitals. She also admits to having a lesbian sex dream.

Emma and Jack kiss, make out and eventually end up back at his place. Clothes are removed. (We see him shirtless and she from the bare shoudlers up). They lie in bed together, presumably after sex. Emma believes that Jack is the kind of guy who has had multiple sexual partners (which he doesn’t deny) and could get any woman he wants.

One of Emma’s roomates, Gemma, wears extremely revealing clothes. All of her outfits reveal cleavage and some part of her body, such as her thighs or stomach. One see-through body suit shows Gemma’s rear. Another roomate of Emma’s, Lissy, appears to be sleeping with a coworker when in reality they’re just practicing a dance routine in her bedroom. (Several scenes are intentionally misleading and suggest the two are intimately involved.)

A man leers at the backsides of both men and women. A poster shows an elderly man lounging on the beach in swimtrunks. A gay flight attendendant flirts with Jack, as do a few other men. Cybill, Emma’s supervisor, is a transgender woman.

Men and women make crude references to sex. A man references his genitals and his performance in the bedroom. A couple has a graphic conversation about oral sex. A man jokes about being a eunuch and losing his virginity.

Violent Content

Emma thinks she’s going to die while experiencing severe turbulence (other passengers scream). Jack talks about a friend who tragically died.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is heard five times, and the s-word is used nearly 10. times. God’s name is misused more than 10 times, once paired with “d--n,” while Jesus’ name is abused twice. Other profanity includes one or two utterances each of “h---,” “b--ch” and “dips---.” Emma refers to a certain male name as “douchey.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

After Emma ruins a sales pitch, one of her supervisors asks if she forgot to take her “meds.” Men and women consume wine, beer and champagne.

Other Negative Elements

Emma’s work environment is wholly unprofessional. Her CEO, Jack, asks her inappropriate questions about her love life while at work. Jack shares Emma’s personal details on live TV, and her coworkers ridicule her.

Emma is extremely insecure. She has a hard time loving herself and having confidence because she doesn’t believe she deserves love. Emma gets frustrated during a sales pitch and accidentally spills a beverage on a client.

Gemma, Emma’s roommate, openly insults both Emma and Lissy’s physical appearance. Gemma also tries to convince Emma to get revenge on those who have hurt her, to lie in relationships and to never be vulnerable with men.

Conclusion

Can You Keep A Secret? is a novel by Sophie Kinsella, author of the popular Shopaholic series, that focuses on one woman’s secrets laid bare in front of a complete stranger. Or so she thinks. But not all secrets are worth revealing—at least that’s what I wished someone would have learned in this film.

Don’t get me wrong: Vulnerability can be a wonderful thing in the right relational context. And if you’re going to make a relationship last, you have to be willing to open up. But many characters in this movie were far more open than they needed to be, from start to finish, given the lack of safeguards for such emotional intimacy here.

This streaming Amazon Prime original is an odd combination of plot holes, awkward characters and really unsavory content. Despite its almost Hallmark-y romcom setup, this movie lands solidly in R-rated territory (even though it's officially unrated) due to its harsh profanity and its frequently explicit sexual content (both visual and verbal).

In fact, I’d say this is one of those romantic comedies that would do well to get to know itself better before oversharing quite so much with a viewing audience it’s never met before.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Alexandra Daddario as Emma Corrigan; Tyler Hoechlin as Jack Harper; Laverne Cox as Cybill; Kimiko Glenn as Gemma; Sunita Mani as Lissy; Sam Asghari as Omar; David Ebert as Connor; Kate Easton as Artemis; Robert King as Casey

Director

Elise Duran ( )

Distributor

Vertical Entertainment

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

September 13, 2019

On Video

September 13, 2019

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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