Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Named Best Film at the Donatellos, ‘the Italian Oscars’, Perfect Strangers offers a fiendish take on mobile-device decorum. Fairly bristling with talking points, it became a national sensation and box office hit.
Three 30-something couples and their bachelor friend who have all known each other for years meet for a dinner party. They agree that no private calling or messaging will disrupt their evening. Instead, in a communal fit of ‘We have nothing to hide’ bravado, they’ll place their devices on the table. Every incoming text, email or call will be shared with the whole party. (Letting a caller know they’re on speaker is considered a cheat.) You may soon be asking why they didn’t just play Russian roulette, as the secret projects, extra-mural liaisons and uncool online hook-ups hit the table. Complicating matters most adroitly – and lending a measure of credibility to their recklessness – is some furtive phone-swapping intended to protect the guilty. A stellar cast, including Alba Rohrwacher, Marco Giallini, and other Italian favourites skilfully manoeuvre the transitions from tender comedy through painful comeuppance to the restoration of sanity.