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User Reviews for: Perfect Strangers

6/10  2 years ago
"Perfect Strangers" is a homage to old Italian-style comedy but also a fresh and contemporary film at the same time. A group of friends meets for one of their usual dinner parties, and decide to play a game where they share the content of all text messages and phone calls they receive.
The game at first is used as a smart plot device to tell us more about the life situations and character of each friend, but as the dinner goes on, everyone's darkest secrets get exposed in a series of plot twists.

This film has been largely described as a critique of the role of smartphones and technology play in our lives. Honestly, I thought the technology just happened to be a vehicle like another to reflect on the subtle and delicate balances of human relationships, on how friendships and love stories can be both kept together and torn apart by unspoken truths, silences, and hypocrisy.

Most of the film takes place in a living room with the camera moving around the seven main characters, their phones, and the food they are sharing. It's hard to make such a one-set, dialogue-driven film entertaining. However, the quick direction, the incredible chemistry of the cast and their natural, fast-paced dialogues manage to make you feel at home. It was almost like sitting there and sharing dinner with the characters.

The acting is mostly solid but might feel a bit too much for international audiences as the tone of the conversations if typically Italian. The dialogues are witty and well written, even though there are times the film gets suddenly overly didactic with unnatural monologues or obvious moral statements from one of the characters. The melodramatic, intrusive soundtrack full of tear-jerking strings also tends to jump in a lot during these moments. It's a minor portion of the film but kind of spoil the fun of what would otherwise be one of the finest examples of modern Italian filmmaking.
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