Title – A Simple Favor (2018)
Director – Paul Feig (Bridesmaids)
Cast – Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Rupert Friend, Linda Cardellini
Plot – Kind-hearted single mum/vlogger Stephanie Smothers (Kendrick) starts a friendship with infamous corporate mother Emily Nelson (Lively) that takes a mysterious turn when Emily suddenly disappears.
“You don’t want to be friends with me, trust me”
Review by Eddie on 21/09/2018
An odd mix of thriller and social commentary, sprinkled with comedic samplings, A Simple Favor see’s longstanding comedy heavyweight Paul Feig graduate from Bridesmaids, The Heat and The Spy to deliver his most curious film yet, that whilst possessing brief, fleeting moments of brilliance, is the type of experience that once watched, will never need to be watched again.
A highly stylised and OTT production, Favour is like Gone Girl done by the Kardashian’s, with the two film’s featuring some eerily similar similarities (that would be entering spoiler territory should they be mentioned) with Feig and his willing cast led by sassy ladies Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, delivering an offering that never quite gels in any of its genres, with my personal take being that the film should be watched with a mind that it’s a dark comedy at heart.
Another important facet of the film to take to mind is the fact Favor features a highly implausible narrative, filled with a number of instances that will require a leap of faith around its happenings and for me it was a leap I often couldn’t take, disallowing me to fully engage with the film’s tale, whereas others may find that things happen in a perfectly natural and believable way, making Favor a highly entertaining and savvy piece of work.
Telling the tale of Anna Kendrick’s single mum vlogger with a heart of gold Stephanie Smothers and her friendship with Blake Liveley’s cold-hearted corporate mother and unhappily married Emily Nelson, that turns into a missing person’s case/messy romance, Favor is a jam-packed 2 hour feature filled with a number of twists and turns (most of which aren’t all that surprising) that culminates in a fashion that will leave many wondering if it was all worth it in the end.
One thing that can’t be questioned about the film, outside of Lively’s ability to pull off fashion many of us wouldn’t dream of inhabiting, is the commitment of its two leading ladies (with Crazy Rich Asian’s breakout star Henry Golding more or less just along for the ride) who give it their all playing characters that are equally annoying and unlikeable in nature.
Whenever Kendrick and Lively share their limited screen time together, Favor reaches higher levels than when they’re doing their own thing and one wishes that the two were given more to do as a shared presence to help Favor out of its frequent slumps in between.
Final Say –
A unique offering, that never the less remains mostly forgettable, A Simple Favor is an odd mix of ideas and tones that whilst featuring some committed central performances and a highly glossy sheen, is a film that offers very little outside of its shiny cosmetics and overblown narrative.
2 half-brothers out of 5