Perfect Strangers (2016 film)

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Perfect Strangers
Theatrical release poster
Perfetti sconosciuti
Directed byPaolo Genovese
Produced byMarco Belardi
Written by
Story byPaolo Genovese
Music byMaurizio Filardo
CinematographyFabrizio Lucci
Edited byConsuelo Catucci
Lotus Production
Distributed byMedusa Film
Release date
  • February 11, 2016 (2016-02-11)
Running time
97 minutes
Box office$31.47 million[1]

Perfect Strangers (Italian: Perfetti sconosciuti)[2] is a 2016 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Paolo Genovese.[3][4] It was released in Italy on February 11, 2016.[4]

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the David di Donatello in the Best Film Category and grossing more than €16 million in Italy. It has been remade in many countries including Spain (as Perfectos desconocidos), Mexico, South Korea (as Intimate Strangers), France, Hungary, Greece, China, Russia and Poland.

On 15 July 2019, it was included in the Guinness World Records as it became the most remade film in cinema history, with a total of 18 versions of the film.[5]


Eva and Rocco, husband and wife, invite their best friends to dinner: Cosimo and Bianca, Lele and Carlotta, and Peppe. The hosts are living a period of crisis, a situation exasperated by Eva's conflicted relationship with her teenage daughter Sofia, who finds an outlet for all her worries and needs only with her father; Cosimo and Bianca are a couple of newlyweds, he a taxi driver and she a veterinarian, who want to have a child; Lele and Carlotta are a couple who have been married for years with two children and various problems; Peppe is a divorced former physical education teacher who is currently unemployed. Peppe had promised to present to his friends Lucilla, his new partner, who unfortunately could not come to dinner because of a bad fever. During dinner, the friends discuss a couple who recently separated because of a betrayal discovered by his wife on reading a message on her husband's cell phone. After telling this story, Eva suggests everyone play a game: to place their mobile phone on the table and to accept that the content of all the communications they will receive during the evening (messages and phone calls) is revealed to everyone present. After many hesitations, the friends accept the intrigue, but unfortunately what was supposed to be a game soon turns into a public confession of all their most intimate secrets.

It turns out that Rocco, a plastic surgeon by profession, has long been in psychoanalysis, while his wife Eva, herself a psychoanalyst, knows nothing about it (Rocco has always declared to her that believes psychoanalysis is useless). Eva, on the other hand, wants to undergo breast reconstruction, but has made sure that the operation is not performed by her husband but by a famous surgeon, Blanchard; Rocco, after giving his daughter a box of condoms (discovered by Eva poking around Sofia's bag), gives her advice over the phone (heard by everyone) for her first sexual experience; Bianca is still in touch with her ex without her husband's knowledge, but only to help him face a new relationship; Cosimo, in addition to impregnating his lover (who is the operator of the taxi service), has an affair with Eva (but this relationship is revealed only to the viewers, even though it is implied that Rocco already knew about it); Carlotta, unbeknownst to her husband, has contacted a nursing home to get rid of her mother-in-law, who lives in their house; both Carlotta and Lele have online affairs.

Lele, to protect himself from the inevitable arrival of an erotic photo of his mistress, privately asks Peppe to exchange their mobile phones, as they have the same model; while avoiding discovery of his affair, Lele receives texts and calls from a certain Lucio, who, thinking he's talking to Peppe, declares that he misses his kisses. Everyone therefore thinks that Lele has a homosexual extramarital affair. The friends react very strongly to this discovery, especially Cosimo, apparently sorry that Lele never revealed his alleged homosexuality even to his best friends, but actually revealing deep-seated homophobia. Later, Peppe reveals the exchange of telephones and thus his own homosexuality, and that this was the real reason why he lost his teaching post, and he declares that he will not introduce Lucio to his friends as he wants to protect him from their reactions. Finally, it turns out that years earlier Carlotta, while driving drunk, caused an accident in which a man died, although it was Lele who took responsibility for the manslaughter in order to avoid his wife's imprisonment and thus the ruin of their family.

At the end of the evening, it is revealed that in reality the mobile phone game never happened, thanks to strong opposition from Rocco: the guests return home, after what was an ordinary dinner with friends. Everyone goes back to their own lies: Peppe is excluded from a five-a-side football match with an excuse by Lele, Cosimo and Rocco and, at the request of his friends, he promises that at the next opportunity he will introduce them to the non-existent Lucilla (in reality his partner Lucio); Cosimo, in the car with Bianca, runs through the messages of his lover Marika and responds to a message from Eva, who in the meantime removes the earrings given her as a gift by Cosimo himself; Carlotta puts on the panties that her lover had asked her to take off and Lele secretly looks at the photo he received from his online lover.



The film was number-one on its opening week in Italy, with US$3.7 million.[3]

On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 77% based on reviews from 13 critics.[6]


Year Award/Festival Category Recipients Result
2016 David di Donatello Best Film Paolo Genovese Won
Best Director Paolo Genovese Nominated
Best Script Paolo Genovese, Filippo Bologna, Paolo Costella, Paola Mammini, Rolando Ravello Won
Best Actress Anna Foglietta Nominated
Best Actor Marco Giallini Nominated
Best Actor Valerio Mastandrea Nominated
Best Original Song Perfetti sconosciuti by Bungaro, Cesare Chiodo and Fiorella Mannoia Nominated
Best Editing Consuelo Catucci Nominated
Best Sound Umberto Montesanti Nominated
2016 Bari International Film Festival Tonino Guerra Award for Best Scriptment Paolo Genovese Won
2016 Tribeca Film Festival Best Screenplay Paolo Genovese, Filippo Bologna, Paolo Costella, Paola Mammini, Rolando Ravello Won
2017 Vilnius International Film Festival Audience’s Favourite Film[7] Paolo Genovese Won


  • In 15 December 2016, a Greek remake by Greek actor/director Thodoris Atheridis as Teleioi Xenoi was released.
  • In 2017, one year after the original's release, Perfect Strangers was remade by Spanish director Álex de la Iglesia as Perfectos desconocidos.[8][9]
  • The Turkish version titled Cebimdeki Yabancı was directed by Serra Yılmaz and released in Turkey on February 2, 2018.[10][11]
  • A French-language version of the film, titled Le Jeu (lit. The Game), was directed by Fred Cavayé and released in France in late 2018.[12] In Netflix its called: Nothing to hide.[13]
  • An unofficial remake of the movie was released in India in 2018 under the title Loudspeaker in Kannada language.[14][15]
  • The South Korean remake, Intimate Strangers (완벽한 타인), was released in South Korea on October 31, 2018.[16]
  • The Hungarian remake (BÚÉK) directed by Krisztina Goda was released on December 6, 2018.[17]
  • The Mexican remake Perfectos Desconocidos directed by Manolo Caro (creator of The House of Flowers on Netflix) was released in Mexico on December 25, 2018 and the United States on January 11, 2019.[18]
  • The Chinese remake, Kill Mobile (手机狂响), was released in the United Kingdom on 28 December 2018,[19] before China on 29 December 2018,[20] and Singapore on 10 January 2019.[21]
  • A Russian remake Loud Connection, created by the Kvartet I, was released on Valentine's Day in 2019.[22]

As of June 2017, remakes were underway in Poland, Germany, Qatar and Sweden.[23] The rights to an English-language version were purchased by The Weinstein Company in the USA,[24] though director Genovese has stated that he is unsure whether the US version will be completed due to the fall of Harvey Weinstein[23] and the subsequent bankruptcy of the company.


  1. ^ "Perfetti sconosciuti". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Perfect Strangers". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Anderson, Ariston (February 16, 2016). "Italy Box Office: Local Comedy Trumps 'Zoolander 2' Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Perfetti Sconosciuti: il film di Paolo Genovese al cinema dall'11 Febbraio". (in Italian). December 24, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  5. ^ "'Perfetti Sconosciuti' da Guinness, la commedia di Genovese è il film con più remake di sempre". Repubblica Tv - la (in Italian). 2019-07-15. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  6. ^ Perfect Strangers on Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ "Audience Choice Awards 2017". April 7, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  8. ^ ""Perfectos desconocidos" un remake de Álex de la Iglesia". Jameson Notodofilmfest (in Spanish). 27 November 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  9. ^ Zorrilla, Mikel (21 May 2016). "Álex de la Iglesia dirigirá el remake de 'Perfectos desconocidos'". Espinof (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  10. ^ Cebimdeki Yabancı on IMDb
  11. ^ Box Office Türkiye
  12. ^ "Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers), Fred Cavayè to direct French remake Le Jeu (The Game)". Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo (in Italian). 24 November 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  13. ^ Nothing to hide Trailer on YouTube
  14. ^ Supreet, Vaalee (13 August 2018). "Film maker Paolo Genovese informed about unofficial remake Loudspeaker?". Sandalwood Cinema. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  15. ^ "Loudspeaker movie review: Smarting with the phone". Bangalore Mirror. India Times. Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ Lotte Entertainment
  17. ^ BÚÉK on IMDb
  18. ^ Fuente, Anna Marie de la (2018-10-23). "Morelia: Pantelion to Release Manolo Caro's Perfect Strangers in the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  19. ^ Launching Films | UK Film Distributors' Association
  20. ^ Baidu Baike
  21. ^ Kill Mobile Teaser Trailer | In Cinemas 10 Jan 2019
  22. ^ «Квартет И» снимает ремейк итальянского фильма «Идеальные незнакомцы»
  23. ^ a b "Il remake di "Perfetti sconosciuti" bloccato negli Usa per colpa di Weinstein". Giornalettismo (in Italian). 12 June 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  24. ^ McNary, Dave (17 February 2017). "Weinstein Company to Remake Italian Comedy 'Perfect Strangers'". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

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