Can You Keep A Secret? follows young marketing assistant Emma Corrigan (Daddario), who sits next to a stranger during a turbulent flight and winds up spilling all of her secrets – the little facts about herself and her life that she believes will drive everyone away. It turns out the man is Jack Harper (Hoechlin), the CEO of the company where she works, which Emma learns when he shows up at her office. With help from her best friend Lissy (Sunita Mani) and the questionable advice of her roommate Gemma (Kimiko Glenn), Emma attempts to navigate the difficult situation at work, made worse by her annoying coworkers and her slightly terrifying boss Cybill (Laverne Cox). Plus, there’s the fact that Jack knows Emma isn’t in love with her boyfriend Connor (David Ebert) and she’s waiting for an earth-shattering romance – and she just might get her chance for such a romance with Jack.
Can You Keep A Secret? is directed by Elise Duran (DeSean Jackson: Home Team) from a script by Peter Hutchings (The Last Keepers). Having worked largely in documentaries and unscripted television, Can You Keep A Secret? is Duran’s first feature-length fiction film, but she brings an incredible amount of authenticity to the movie. Duran is able to capture the awkwardness of Emma, especially in her early interactions with Jack, and deftly transitions that awkwardness into an intimacy between the characters as their relationship grows. And with the smaller budget of an indie film, Duran puts New York City to work, using its romanticized city skyline to give certain scenes a grander weight more in line with big studio romcoms. Meanwhile Hutchings proves adept at bringing Kinsella’s work to the screen, keeping much of what made the book excellent and condensing it down so the story fits within a 90-minute movie. Hutchings’ script also focuses the story a bit more and makes its themes of being true to oneself even more straightforward.
However, as is the case with any romantic comedy, much of the film’s success is down to its leading duo; in Can You Keep A Secret? that duo is Daddario and Hoechlin. Though Daddario has somewhat more experience with romcoms than Hoechlin – having starred in The Layover and Netflix’s When We First Met – both are equally suited to the genre, their romance sizzling off the screen with equal amounts of charm and vulnerability. In Can You Keep A Secret? Daddario has more to work with by virtue of her character being the one with her heart on her sleeve, while Hoechlin’s Jack is a more reserved person. Still, he brings a likable personality to the role that shines through. And it helps that Daddario and Hoechlin work well with each other to bring this love story to life. Can You Keep A Secret? also boasts a solid supporting cast, especially Cox, Mani, Glenn, and Ebert as their respective characters, bringing humor and depth to the film. Still, much of the movie rests on the shoulders of Daddario and Hoechlin, and they carry that weight well together.