A Simple Favor features two killer performances by its female leads while mixing the intrigue of Gone Girl without taking itself too seriously.
Director Paul Feig
Summary: A SIMPLE FAVOR, directed by Paul Feig, centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy blogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town.
The trailers for A Simple Favor are not doing the movie justice at all. It’s playing up the intrigue and the drama but they are hiding the fact that this movie is a lot funnier than anyone is going to realize. Yes, it is also about a young mother vanishing and all sorts of drama that comes from looking into her life but the movie embraces the fact that it is has two gifted actresses as its leads. Anna Kendrick can do drama but she’s also a gifted comedic actress. Combined with the absolute knockout deadpan humor of Blake Lively and the two of them are dominating every scene that they are in. Those moments of humor fit in with the rest of the movie because it is drawing attention to the fact that the entire situation is ridiculous which makes it funny.
This is a mystery so to talk about the mystery in too much depth would be giving away the game but A Simple Favor does a pretty good job of giving you clues about what is going on but doesn’t show its hand too soon. The story sets up the stakes and all of our principal players so we know who stands to gain and lose what, when, and where. It does a good job of making you second guess your first instinct. You might not like everyone but you can see where most of them are coming from and you can see why so many people get caught up in Emily’s (Lively) spell. continues to show he is leading man material as a man in way over his own head when it comes to the women in his life.
The movie is well paced so as each layer of the mystery comes to light it never feels like it is dragging on. There are enough twists and turns that it doesn’t feel boring but they also aren’t so contrived that it starts to feel confusing for the sake of being confusing. It walks that line quite well which can be difficult to do when it comes to mystery stories. Feig also does a great job of contrasting Emily and Stephanie’s (Kendrick) lives in terms of the shots and settings. We see how different they are in terms of personality and style but we can also see how they might seek each other out when it comes to friendship. They might be different but it makes sense why they might be friends. There is a satisfying conclusion to the mystery that while it is ridiculous everyone seems to know it is and it doesn’t stop the movie from being a ton of fun.
A Simple Favor is likely going to be a movie that’s going fly under the radar of a lot of people but it really shouldn’t. It’s a fun little mystery story that doesn’t take itself too seriously and features two knockout performances by its leading ladies. Absolutely worth checking out even if you think this isn’t your short of movie.
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