The Viking Vanguard

“A Simple Favor” Review

Mariah Perez, Staff

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“A Simple Favor” is a splashy, thrilling and eccentric film that leaves the gates at 100 mph and refuses to slow down. It is the perfect blend of rom-com, mystery and psychological thriller.

“A Simple Favor” may not, however, be everyone’s cup of tea. It is rated R and earns its rating within the first few minutes. It includes sexual scenes, depictions of violence and an abundance of foul language. If you don’t mind the rating and are interested in a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat for two hours straight, this is the movie for you.

The film tells the story of two women: Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) and Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). They meet through their sons, who are in the same first grade class. They bond over martinis and become quick friends.

The two are an unusual pairing, as is noted by several characters throughout the film. Stephanie is a single, stay at home mom who makes “mommy vlogs” from her kitchen and lives off her late husband’s life insurance money. She is goofy, pristine and always looks for the good in people. Emily is a PR exec who seems to have it all: the house, the style and the adoring husband, Sean, played by Henry Golding. She never apologizes for being who she is or at all for that matter.

The plot really starts to take off when Emily goes missing after asking Stephanie to pick her son up from school – it’s just a simple favor really. As the movie progresses, you learn that everyone has a motive for wanting Emily out of the picture, even Emily herself.

The audience watches events unfold through Stephanie’s eyes. A combination of unreliable narration and as many twists as the Labyrinth make it impossible to trust anyone.

What truly draws you into “A Simple Favor” are the performances put on by the two leading ladies, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. The film allows both actress to explore a side of themselves that we haven’t seen much of on screen before.

Lively is captivating as the mysterious Emily but the film truly belongs to Kendrick. She portrays Stephanie vividly and with an incredible emotional depth. Kendrick stays true to the characters light and bubbly personality while also convincing audiences of her growth as a character.

While “A Simple Favor” is a mystery film, a genre that relies on twists, the sheer amount of twists can make the plot seem thin and somewhat cheesy. The ending in particular is drawn out longer than need be by a series of last minute betrayals that become predictable and a bit tiresome. The film counts on shock value to draw in and hold onto the audience.

“A Simple Favor” is something entirely its own. It is colorful, shocking and pushes every boundary. The characters are relatable yet mysterious, and the plot keeps you hooked. I highly recommend seeing this film on you next movie night.

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“A Simple Favor” Review