Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Movie Review: "A Simple Favor" (2018)

Director: Paul Feig
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

When her best friend Emily goes missing, widowed mommy blogger Stephanie Smothers becomes determined to uncover the truth behind her disappearance.

Anna Kendrick Blake Lively A Simple Favor 2018
"You are so nice...I have no idea how you've lasted this long." (Image Source)
Have you ever walked out of a movie craving an alcoholic beverage because of the ones that were made in the film you just watched? We'll take two martinis, please! "A Simple Favor" is directed by Paul Feig, who has helmed other projects like "Bridesmaids," "The Heat," and "Spy." It is written by Jessica Sharzer and is based on the novel of the same name by Darcey Bell. This story revolves around a widow named Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick), who lives up to her name since she is a pretty typical smother mother. She is also a mommy vlogger where she teaches other moms how to make friendship bracelets and zucchini chocolate chip cookies via video tutorials. One day after school, she meets Emily (Blake Lively), the mom of her son's best friend. Emily is the exact opposite of Stephanie in every way imaginable. She is a working professional who has a foul mouth, a sarcastic attitude, enjoys double-fisted day-drinking, and is married to a handsome professional writer named Sean (Henry Golding). Despite this, Stephanie is intoxicated by Emily's charm, style, and essence, since she is everything she's not. The two become best friends...at least in Stephanie's mind, they are. One day, Emily asks Stephanie to pick her son up from school for her since she is slammed at work. When Emily doesn't come back, Stephanie and Sean become increasingly more and more worried, and now, Stephanie is determined to use her go-getter attitude to find out what happened to Emily.
Blake Lively A Simple Favor 2018
"My life is littered with almost somebodies." (Image Source)
"A Simple Favor" is a sharply written, witty, funny, and deeply enthralling mystery. The comedy is quite a bit darker than what we're used to getting from Paul Feig's typical offerings (read: it has less toilet humor and physical comedy than his other films). It's pretty sardonic and sniping, but it is also painfully indicative of the times we live in, particularly when it comes to our obsession with social media fame and our culture of oversharing. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are both wonderful and endlessly charming in this movie. Kendrick uses her bubbly personality and quirky, awkward, self-deprecating jokes to perfection in this part. Kendrick is definitely the one leading this intricate, scandalous dance, so if you don't like her, you may find yourself not enjoying this movie (which, honestly, shame on you). Blake Lively is devilishly honest as Emily, a person who is sarcastic to the point where it's hard to tell if she is joking or just being an asshole. Emily leads a charmed life, but it's clear she has some deep-seeded issues and is obviously going to burst any second. She and Kendrick are brilliant together. Also great in this film is Henry Golding as Emily's husband Sean, a guy who wrote a thing ten years ago and has been milking it ever since. He is the "concerned" husband you never quite know if you can fully trust. Between this film and "Crazy Rich Asians," it's not hard to see why Golding is the next Hollywood "it" person. Goodness gracious is he ever suave and charismatic!
Anna Kendrick Henry Golding A Simple Favor 2018
"People do terrible things for their own fucked-up reasons." (Image Source)
The marketing for "A Simple Favor" is a bit misleading because it is so much funnier than the trailers suggested. We laughed a lot throughout this film, but go in knowing that it is the kind of humor that is slightly twisted. The story is intricate and intriguing and is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing and always on edge. Just as you start to think you know where it's all going, the story pivots and goes somewhere else entirely. Just like most movies, you could spend hours picking it apart at every single point, but do you really want to waste your life doing that? Sure, it may be a little farfetched, but it is very self-aware and a whole lot of fun. We very much enjoyed this movie and think Paul Feig has a winner on his hands. This one is definitely worth checking out in the theater!

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.3/10
RT Rating: ~84%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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