Review: A Simple Favor

Can you do this one thing?

Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is an eager to please mommy blogger that meets Emily (Blake Lively) when their two children request a play date. Emily is effortlessly cool, lives in a big beautiful house and has a gorgeous husband Sean. (Henry Golding) Stephanie can't but be infatuated. Then Emily disappears and Stephanie attempts to get to the bottom of it. 

The marketing behind this movie is kind of all over the place. In one trailer it's a comedy, the next a murder mystery. It's definitely more of the former. Sure, there's lots of twists and turns but they're mostly all played out for laughs. Since I've never read the novel this was based on, I don't know if the book took it this lightly either. 

At two hours long, I really liked this for the first 100 minutes or so, then I started to get antsy. I've always adored Anna Kendrick but she's chewing so much scenery here that I realized there's such a thing as too much Anna Kendrick, or at least this type of character. It's kind of impossible to like Stephanie. I think I was supposed to dislike Emily more, but she was an enigma. Blake Lively played her so bitchy and uninterested. It's the best performance I've ever seen from her. Rupert Friend, like he did in The Death of Stalin shows up and steals each scene he's in. That was by far the funniest part of the film for me. 

But alas, this is directed by Paul Feig so he needs more comedy, and those are the parts that really didn't work. There's a group of bystander parents that show up occasionally to interject opinions. They were fine at the beginning, but slowly got more and more over the top. 

I'm quite surprised how much I started to dislike a film I was thoroughly enjoying. If I had left early for some reason and not finished it, I probably would've given it a solid grade, but it just became a bit too much.

Recommended: If you like Feig's work, then yes. Otherwise wait for DVD

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "Did she want you to hang yourself with it?" - Dennis (Rupert Friend)


10 comments:

  1. The book is definitely not a comedy but I had loads of problems with it so I'm wary of the movie (I don't like either actress, so that doesn't help).

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    1. If you dislike Anna Kendrick, you'll probably hate this because it's a lot of her doing the awkward thing. Blake Lively I've never considered to be a strong actress at all, but she's pretty good at least.

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  2. This looks fun and everyone raves about Lively so I'll give it a shot, seems like an unholy mess when it comes to the tone, though

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    1. It kind of is. I definitely think it's worth seeing but I didn't love it as much as everyone else did.

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  3. lol I had the exact opposite reaction as you did - I was a little bored in the beginning (it was moving SO SLOWLY), but liked it more and more as things went on. I do agree that Stephanie was a LOT to take, though, even though I thought Anna Kendrick was pretty great in the part (I thought she was hysterical). And Blake Lively has never been better (and also, HER WARDROBE!!!).

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    1. Yes her wardrobe! I just thought Kendrick gave it too much towards the end. I kind of wanted to reach through the screen and say "damn, chill."

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  4. Interesting review! I had no idea this was directed by Paul. I feel like this movie is playing devils advocate. I don't know where the general annoyance started for Anna, but she seems to play the same thing over and over again. But I really like Blake. She's one of those decent actresses who should be in better movies and she could be a bigger star than she is. I might wait for on-demand/dvd.

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    1. I think with Anna, she just plays up the fact that she's goofy and quirky too much. She's like what people thought Zooey Deschanel should be like, but Zooey never played into the hype.

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  5. Interesting, I had the exact opposite reaction. Really wasn't digging this movie at all at first, but the further along we got, the more I was able to really dig what I was seeing. Agreed that this is a rare instance of too much Anna Kendrick though. Not a huge fan of her character in this one. :P

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