Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

'A Simple Favor' was released Sept. 14. (via @asimplefavor on Instagram)

Film Review: ‘A Simple Favor’ will keep you on the edge of your seat

If there has ever been a movie that unveiled the dark secrets of a chic, high-class, enigma of a woman who knows how to make a killer martini, A Simple Favor is that movie.

A Simple Favor is a neo-noir centered around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a dedicated mother who runs an internet vlog for moms to watch, and her relationship with her best friend Emily (Blake Lively). Emily seemed to have the perfect life with an impressive job, the most stylish clothes and a handsome husband, until she suddenly went missing. Throughout the entire movie, Stephanie is on a mission to seek out the truth about Emily, until she discovers Emily wasn’t the person Stephanie thought she was.

From the minute Stephanie starts talking, the audience loves her. She has this can-do attitude and is such a quirky and funny character that makes her a protagonist people want to root for. Stephanie and Emily meet for the first time when their sons want to have a playdate. Emily is cold in her short conversation with Stephanie. Being the mean girl is nice to see from the actress, considering Lively has portrayed a good girl in her most famous role as Serena from the TV show Gossip Girl.  

Emily and Stephanie are two people that would not be caught dead together, but considering Stephanie’s lack of other mom friends, it only makes sense she would latch onto Emily. The other mom’s find Stephanie to be an over-the-top mom who makes a vlog only she watches. She is an odd parent, but despite what the other moms think, Stephanie doesn’t let it get to her — at least she doesn’t make it seem like it does. But even though Emily shows little interest in their first encounter, it was still more conversation with another mom than Stephanie ever had before. She still makes an impression on Emily, prompting her to invite Stephanie over to help with the playdate and drink chilled martinis at two in the afternoon.

Kendrick’s character was an embodiment of the actress herself. She plays this highly energized mother who doesn’t know how to act around a woman of such high class. Her clothes are full of bright colors and she wears cat socks she bought from Target. When Stephanie is first invited to Emily’s home, she turns up her music and starts dancing around when no one is looking until she abruptly stops to the sound of Emily’s laughter. That small uncomfortable moment is something Kendrick is used to acting out, and she did it well.

Everything Emily says is direct and intimidating. She doesn’t seem to have a care in the world, which makes her such an interesting character. She doesn’t have a filter, but that is what makes her someone to listen to. As the two best friends share martinis and confidences, the audience learns Emily is a woman like no other. Although Emily shares some secrets of her own, Stephanie reveals something even darker that is almost too shocking to be true. Just as the two begin to really hit it off, Emily disappears.

It doesn’t make much sense as to why Emily disappears because she has everything. But the more digging Stephanie does, the darker Emily’s past seems to become. As Stephanie begins uncovering the person her best friend is, she starts receiving little hints and messages from her, almost as if she never disappeared in the first place. Every twist leads to a bigger one, and the more the audience finds out about Emily, the crazier of a person she is revealed to be. 

From the beginning it is obvious these two moms were not going to work out as best friends. The plot reveals 

Emily is a pathological liar, and Stephanie begins to come into her own, making Emily the pawn in her game. She decides that she is going to stop apologizing for everything and letting herself get walked all over, and by doing so, gains the upper hand. 

Almost up to the very end, the audience is still kept guessing as to what was going to happen. The whole movie felt like a climax, which made the resolution that much sweeter. Although the ending scenes were pretty cliche, they fit the comedic tone that was set throughout the movie. 

Lively and Kendrick were the perfect duo to cast as the leading roles for this film, and watching them work off one another was pure cinematic pleasure. Their performances were so natural and invigorating, that without them, the film wouldn’t have been as enjoyable and mysterious as it was.

Rating: 4.5/5


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH