Warning: contains spoilers
Sinister and stylish, “A Simple Favor” proves to win over the audience with its enjoyable and witty plot, despite its frequently used thriller clichés. Starring Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl,” “The Shallows”), Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect,” “Trolls”), and actor on the rise Henry Golding (“Crazy Rich Asians”), “A Simple Favor” has a star-studded appeal that drew audiences in to theaters on its premiere weekend. The film did not have high expectations from critics but ended up taking the majority by surprise since its release, with an 84% certified fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film follows Stephanie (Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who meets a mysterious woman named Emily when their sons bring them together. She soon grows close to Emily, so, when Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes initiative and soon gets wrapped up in a crazy mystery filled with secret triplets, affairs, and estranged family members. The movie has many thriller clichés such as having a secret twin and fake deaths, but it still proved to be very entertaining and keep the audience shocked. The movie is filled with endless twists and turns that will keep you guessing (and possibly confused) until the very last minute.
Anna Kendrick takes a step out of her comfort zone with this film, taking on a much deeper character with many different aspects. She did an amazing job playing Stephanie, who is a character with many secrets and layers. Blake Lively is no newcomer to the drama genre, with her notable role in 2016’s “The Shallows,” in which she was the sole main character and had very few co-stars. In this film, she gets to have a little bit more fun with playing the estranged, witty, and perfectly dressed Emily. Finally, newcomer Henry Golding wows in his role as Sean, the peculiar husband, who very quickly becomes important the plot. He holds up well next to his female co-stars and manages to break out of his usual roles.
The film is also very stylish and cinematic and keeps your eyes glued to the screen if the plot doesn’t already. The varying aesthetics of the film help to further the plot and the beautiful scenes directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) show that he is more than capable of producing a spectacular film that isn’t a comedy. On the other hand, costumes throughout the entire movie are nothing short of eye-catching and breathtaking, specifically Blake Lively’s, which are enough to convince you to see the film. The movie does a very good job of including eye-catching aspects such as gorgeous costumes and sets and a star-studded cast to attract an audience and keep them attentive.
The only issues with the film were its somewhat confusing plot and irrelevant subplots. The movie was adapted from a novel, so many of the details of the story are left out. However, some details that are kept in the movie seem very irrelevant to the main plot, such as Stephanie’s storyline with her deceased husband and half-brother. The only connection it has to the plot is that Emily and Stephanie share secrets and Stephanie’s secrets are used as a constant gag by Emily throughout the movie. It does serve as some comic relief but is otherwise unnecessary. The movie also seemed to drag on near the last hour or so because of the very confusing plot that was somewhat hard to follow.
Overall, “A Simple Favor” was a forgettable, but enjoyable movie. It made up for its mediocre plot with gorgeous scenes and a star-packed cast but was not award worthy by any means. It was fun to watch and definitely kept the audience on the edge of their seats, but it added nothing new to the thriller genre.
Check out the trailer for the movie here:
Grace Beilman // Staff Writer