Director: Paul Feig
Writer/s: Jessica Sharzer (screenplay by), Darcey Bell (based upon the novel by)
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, and more.
Listen, I will be honest. My attention RIPPED to this film the moment I heard Blake Lively AND Anna Kendrick were in a movie together. I love these actressed. They bleed grace and personality in nearly all their films. Well, clearly they are drop dead gorgeous as well but regardless, “A Simple Favor” had my attention from the start. Now the masses have the opportunity to watch this film for themselves and many have drawn comparisons to “Gone Girl” and an overall mysterious vibe. As for myself, I was fully open to just about anything, yet, I still was not fully prepared for what I received.
“A woman seeks to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend.”
Wow, this film surely was a trip. As I said, I was open and ready for just about anything due to the resounding mystery that surrounded the film but by the time “A Simple Favor” was running at full steam, I was floored. A near perfect blend of drama, mystery, and comedy. It keeps you on your toes as every scene flips your predictions and expectations yet keeps you laughing each moment. I must bring attention to director Paul Feig who I would assume is part of the mastermind of this film. His history of directing top notch comedy works (“The Heat”, “Bridesmaids”, “The Office” and more) would only prove that I was in for a comedic treat with “A Simple Favor”. However, I would have never imagined he would be able to blend a multi genre film like he did with this one.
The performances… Wow. Across the board, everyone was absolutely bloody phenomenal in multiple aspects of their performances. I will start from the top.
Blake Lively: A force to be reckoned with. Blake’s performance as Emily Nelson is a power move. She bleeds confidence and power. Even I, as I was watching, was floored and whispering “damn” to myself and Blake owned each scene she was in. Whether it was her intimidating moments or a subtle yet brutal joke delivery. In some ways, I saw Blake as a more intense Ryan Reynolds as she joked her way through “A Simple Favor”. Absolutely incredible
Anna Kendrick: Oh I love Miss Kendrick so much. From my first witnessing of her in Pitch Perfect to her present day works. She always bring her real life quirky personality right into her performances. As for “A Simple Favor”, not only do we basically get Beca from the Pitch Perfect series, we get this desperate yet powerful female character of Stephanie Smothers who unexpectedly becomes close friends with Emily before her disappearance.
Henry Golding: I have been chirping about Henry for a bit now on my social medias since I watched him in the 2018 blockbuster hit “Crazy Rich Asians”. Henry’s presence is powerful yet graceful. He carries this charm that is infectious and you have no choice but to love him. This charm works wonders for his role in “A Simple Favor”. I have only the highest of hopes for him as his spotlight in Hollywood is only getting brighter.
Ian Ho and Joshua Satine: These two play Nicky Nelson and Miles Smothers, the children to Emily and Stephanie (Lively and Kendrick). These two deserve attention because some of the funniest moments comes from the mouths of the two young stars of the film. They are hilarious yet also own some of the serious moments of the film as well. For young stars, they made their presence known and that is fantastic.
Of course, I have my critiques on the film. Two glaring aspects of the film took my attention and hurt the film for me. Not too much as you will see my rating is still pretty high. My first point is in some of the more random events of the film. Throughout “A Simple Favor”, there will be sporadic events that happen to further to plot but they will feel pretty sudden and brief. Through conversation, it seems my friend and I seem to be the only ones bothered (for lack of a better term) by this compared to conversations with others.
**Minor spoilers regarding Anna Kendrick’s character**
My other point actually sits with Anna Kendrick’s character, Stephanie. For me, I found myself a bit confused with her character development throughout the film. Early on, Stephanie is practically Kendrick’s character, Beca, from Pitch Perfect except add a little more ditzyness and innocence to her. As the story progresses and becomes more tragic and dramatic, her character makes this leap to being calculated, confident, and decisive. Now, some may argue this is to the compliment of being “mentored” by Lively’s character, Emily. For me, I feel this is just too large of a jump from where Stephanie was from the early phase of the film. Some may call it character development, I call it cliff jumping.
**End of spoilers**
“A Simple Favor” came as an absolute shock to me. As I said before, I expected to enjoy and love it simply for the actors involved but once this film was over, I was awe-shocked by how much I loved it. Paul Feig created a film that blended laugh out loud dark comedy, mystery, and drama wonderfully. This became a film I had no idea that I needed so bad. It is so strange and awkward at times but for all the right reasons. Every player involved in this film does a fantastic job at making their presence known and being a memorable character, and believe me, this film is memorable. Beyond a handful of minor critiques I had for “A Simple Favor”, my overall enjoyment of it made my rating stand strong. If you have the opportunity and are ready for a strange yet riveting piece of film, catch this in theaters ASAP. If not, definitely catch it once it can hit your television.
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