A crafty noir mystery, A Simple Favor will keep you guessing until the end.
Anna Kendrick plays Stephanie, an involved single mother with a vlog, who ends up becoming friends with a more mysterious, elitist almost, mother played by Blake Lively. The two actresses flaunt strong chemistry as their characters bond over martinis telling stories. Then, everything is flipped upside down when Emily (Blake Lively) disappears and Stephanie is left wondering what happened.
A Simple Favor is all about its two leads; Kendrick skillfully plays Stephanie with a naïve innocence while Lively is able to create this beautiful menace in Emily. Both actresses take their characters and run with them, as their performances get even better as the film progresses and their characters develop. Kendrick flourishes in moments of Stephanie’s uncertainty, whilst attaching her real-life quirkiness to the character; truly a standout performance.
The film benefits from its ability to synthesize dark-comedy and suspense to create a humorous affair with the added benefit of keeping the audience on the edge of their seat. The startling effect and amount of suspense the film is able to derive simply from shoes and clothes reappearing in a closet is impressive. There are plenty of twists and turns, and as you think you’re finally piecing the clues together, you’re forced to scramble them all up again. The French pop soundtrack does its part in creating the mishmash of lighter and darker tones and the clothing designs match the film’s peculiar nature. I don’t really understand the complaints of the movie’s third act – it’s an unpredictable ending fitting of an unpredictable movie.
A Simple Favor is not a chick flick and feels very fresh and original (excluding the fact it is adapted from a book). Do yourself a favor, and try to make it out to see this one. 8/10