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