A Simple Favor
By James Davidson
“A Simple Favor” follows Stephanie Smothers (played by Anna Kendrick), a single “mommy vlogger” (video blogger) without many friends.Through her son, Stephanie meets another mom, Emily Nelson (played by Blake Lively). Emily is the exact opposite of Stephanie; where Stephanie spends all of her spare time volunteering for all of her son’s events, Emily is the head of PR for a prestigious fashion designer, spends her spare time drinking martinis. The two become close friends and Stephanie is not concerned when Emily asks her for a simple favor, to pick up her son from school, until Emily disappears soon after.
The film takes a dark turn when Emily’s body is found in a lake with an SUV she rented. The police suspect that Emily’s husband Sean Townsend (played by Henry Golding) has something to do with her murder. Stephanie comforts Sean and they begin seeing each other romantically. Then Emily and Stephanie’s sons both claim to be visited by Emily on the playground at school and give Stephanie messages from her. Stephanie starts investigating and goes through great lengths to find her lost friend.
I went to this movie expecting a well acted drama, with a little crime thrown in to accentuate a simple plot. This movie exceeded those expectations by a lot. Not only was it a well acted drama, it also had a very well written, complex plot with excellent characters that kept me engaged and guessing for the entire two hours.
Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively both did great jobs playing their characters. Their characters were very well-written and they played off of each other well. It was a lot of fun to watch them interact with each other. Henry Golding who plays Emily’s husband, Sean Townsend, does a great job with a character that I thought was going to be a secondary character but who ended up being a great, complicated character. The filmmakers did a great job transforming all of the characters throughout the movie.
I thought that the plot was elaborate and very well-written. A few of the twists were a little predictable, but there were many surprising turns that kept me guessing and entertained. Coupled with the great characters this movie is well-thought out and very entertaining. Although the plot did get a little dark at times, the filmmakers did a great job at inserting humor in just the right places to keep the plot from getting too dark and heavy, which made this film more of a dark comedy in my opinion.
While the pace of the movie moves along quickly for the most part, there are one or two scenes that just don’t seem to fit into the plot. But those scenes do not make the movie a bad experience, they just don’t seem to fit with the rest of the movie.
“A Simple Favor” is rated R for sexual content and language throughout, as well as some graphic nude images, drug use, and violence. This movie is definitely not for younger viewers but is a great movie for adults and a great movie for a date night or a night out with friends.
“A Simple Favor” is a funny, intricate, dark movie with a well written interesting plot and is well acted with well developed characters. I will definitely be buying this movie when it comes out and I recommend it to anyone who like dark comedies or dramas. It earns 4 out of 5 stars