Tell No One

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday October 11, 2013

A publicity image for TELL NO ONE
A publicity image for TELL NO ONE  

Mattia (Josafat Vagni) is a smart, young, gay Italian guy. He lives in Rome, where his divorced (but still quibbling) parents (Antonino Bruschetta and Monica Guerritore) reside, along with his job-seeking grandmother (Lucia Guzzardi), his always-pregnant older sister Samantha (Valentina Correani), and her mechanic boyfriend Bernardo (Andrea Rivera). But this cozy (and crazy) family unit is about to be broken with Mattia's move to Madrid, where he intends to take up house with his Spanish boyfriend Eduard (Jose Dammert).

In a sweet, romantic gesture, Eduard announces that he's flying in to join the family for Mattia's farewell dinner. The problem is that, unknown to Eduard, Mattia has gone to great lengths to fool him into thinking that Mattia's family knows about Eduard. In fact, they don't; shamed by internalized homophobia (a lot of it caused by his rugby coach father), Mattia has never come out to them.

Ivan Silvestrini's "Tell No One" ("Come Non Detto" is the original title; don't confuse this with the French thriller) follows Mattia, his friends, his family, and Eduard through a single topsy-turvy day, as Mattia deploys his two best friends, Stephania (Valeria Bilello) and Giacomo (Francesco Montanari) (the latter a horny straight girl with a thing for gay guys, the latter a drag performer), to intercept Eduard and prevent him from joining the dinner. Flashbacks pepper the film, filling us in on the romance and Mattia's family life, and subplots proliferate -- all of which adds up to a movie that feels artificially inflated. Worse, the film tries far too hard to be zany, and feels awkward as a result.

Where "Tell No One" takes wing is in a scene near the end when, fed up with his noisome family and his own cowardice, Mattia determines to break the news at his own farewell dinner. The scenes that unfold from that point almost resuscitate the film (and the viewer's interest), but it's a long haul through some fairly thin, forced material to get there.

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Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.