FILM REVIEW: A SIMPLE FAVOR
BY KYLE ARANGO
Whenever an actor, actress, or director has stepped out of their comfort zone, it has always intrigued me. Most can argue that comedic personalities have always had the potential to go dark because that is where their comedy comes from. When I heard Paul Feig was directing a thriller starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, it immediately got my attention. Is A Simple Favor a risk that pays off for Feig and the rest of the cast? Absolutely. This unpredictable film is one of the most fascinating movie I’ve seen this year and will leave audiences thinking about it for a while.
A Simple Favor follows the story of a single mom named Stephanie, Kendrick, who is essentially a helicopter mom who just wants the best for her kids. Things start to get better for her when a new mother shows a up in her life named Emily, Lively, but quickly changed when suddenly she vanishes, and Stephanie is left to figure out what happened. As a fan of have been a fan of director Paul Feig, who has directed Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and the 2016 Ghostbusters, I did not know what to except from this. While there are a handful of laughs to be had in A Simple Favor, that is not its goal. It aims to be twisted and maniacal and makes you yell “what the **** is going on!” in the best way possible. The story is engaging, and the characters are likeable, but you are never sure who to trust which adds a sense of intrigue to the story. This could be just like any other bland missing person movie, but the execution does not allow that.
The performances from the cast are also something that was pleasantly surprising. Anna Kendrick plays the same type you usually see out of her, but she nails it here and her personality fits the tone of the film. You feel like she is out of place, yet perfect for the role in the weirdest way possible. Notably, Blake Lively is the real star of the film. I have not seen Lively in many things before, so her acting is something I wasn’t familiar with but she was phenomenal. She plays the cool, confident woman who also is someone you do not want to mess with and her chemistry with Kendrick is dynamic. By far some of the best dialogue exchange that has been seen between two characters in sometime. Someone else who absolutely needs to be addressed is Henry Golding, who we need to look out for as a star in the making. Henry Golding plays Blake Lively’s husband and he brings a mature likeability to the character who is otherwise someone who you should not like at all. If you do not recognize the name, he was also the lead in Crazy, Rich, Asians and is probably having one of the best seasons ever.
A Simple Favor is one of those films that will have you thinking while you are watching it and long after you leave the theater. It’s like Gone Girl if Gone Girl got brighter and took a little cocaine. Paul Feig impressed the heck out of me and his cast of Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and Henry Golding blew me away. The story did drag in the middle a bit, but it didn’t kill the film at all. If it is not successful at the box office, expect it to be one of those films that has a cult following. You will be hearing about A Simple Favor for a long time to come.