What secrets are you hiding in your cellphone? Perfect Strangers takes this as its starting point for an entertaining yet thought-provoking film which was a box office hit in Italy last year.
The plot is simple: a group of friends — three married couples and a divorced man — gather together for dinner. One of them suggests that, since they have nothing to hide from each other, they read out loud each text that they receive and that they all listen to any incoming phone calls.
It is clear that not all the friends are keen on the idea, but how to refuse to take part without looking guilty automatically? And so it begins…
One by one secrets come to the surface, and, as is wont to happen in children’s games, the experiment ends in tears. So far, so predictable.
Yet the film cleverly straddles the line between entertainment and drama. The witty dialogue and the experienced cast keep the tension going for the audience which complicitly looks on, especially when two of the diners agree to swap phones. Their attempt to protect their hidden lives leads to even more disastrous results. Long-term friendships are torn apart by revelations that highlight just how little the friends and husbands and wives do know each other.
And, just when you wonder how the whole thing is going to be wrapped up, the writers come up with an intriguing closure.
Perfect Strangers has been so well-received that the Weinstein Company has bought the rights to remake the film in English. Be ahead of the curve and watch it now so that when the English version comes out you can tell everybody how much better the original was (aren’t they always?).
P. S. Just a tip… before taking a friend or partner to see the film with you, make sure you are not keeping secrets from them, just in case they decide to emulate the film. (Or, at the very least, check your phone!)