Thursday, September 27, 2018

[Review] A Simple Favor

Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are the dynamic counterparts in the darkly comedic mystery film, A Simple Favor.

Stephanie (Kendrick) is bubbly, down-to-earth, and sweet, while Emily (Lively) is haughty, rich, and scathingly blunt. Despite being total opposites, the two hit it off (or at least apparently so) after meeting at their sons' elementary school. But things get peculiar when Emily suddenly goes missing, causing Stephanie to dig deep in order to uncover the surprising truth.

Even though A Simple Favor might come off as Gone Girl-lite at times, it's still an enthralling tale that keeps us wondering and wondering what happened. Director Paul Feig (who's known for big studio comedies like Bridesmaids, Spy, and the Ghostbusters remake) gets more serious than usual here, sparking interest with provocative twists and a methodical sense of secrecy. But even amidst the film's more straightforward thriller elements, it's definitely spiked with a shot of strong humor, like the cinematic equivalent of a chocolate martini.

The cast is fully game, giving pitch-perfect performances all round. Anna Kendrick anchors the story, walking a conflicted line between innocent and scandalous. And despite a briefer screentime, Blake Lively makes a startlingly moody and greatly potent impression. Henry Golding, who a made nice splash in this year's hit romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, does a terrific job playing Emily's husband with questionable motives.

A Simple Favor's runtime might drag out a little too long for its own good, and its final act gets complicated and overwrought, but it's still a film worth investigating.

( 7/10 )

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