A Simple Favor (2018)

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A Simple Favor is a 2018 American mystery thriller directed by Paul Feig, based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Darcey Bell. The film stars Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini, Rupert Friend and Jean Smart. The story is about a vlogger from a small town who tries to decipher the disappearance of her rich and mysterious friend.

The film starts out with Stephanie Smothers (Kendrick) and Emily Nelson (Lively) getting to know each other by planning play dates for their sons and helping pick them up, babysit, etc. After Emily goes missing and while Stephanie is trying to find her, she discovers that Emily is not her real name, she is really Faith McLanden who has a twin sister named Hope.

Faith fakes her own death by drowning her sister at a camp they grew up going to. She also turns up in unexpected places, revealing she is still alive. She plays tricks on Stephanie, her husband, son and coworkers.

This film to me, would have been a lot better if Lively’s character wasn’t so over the top mysterious, jealous, violent or sneaky. The entire film seemed to be about her, not much about the other characters, even the main ones.

I love a good mystery from to time and judging by the trailer, I thought this film was going to have Hitchcock feel to it. It starts out that way, then is stretched too far, making a lot the story so far fetched, it was hard to follow.  Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick are both equally great in the film. Henry Golding does a fine job as Sean Nelson, Emily’s husband.

Overall the film started out really good, then became so stretched out and unrealistic and a little gory. Blake Lively’s Emily character was an over the top sick and twisted rich mother in Katherine Hepburn attire. Anna Kendrick’s Stephanie character was really just a sweet, somewhat naive, cute single mother, just needing a friend. The two of them clashed from the get go. Emily took advantage of Stephanie, her husband and son.

This is not your modern day Hitchcock mystery thriller. The director took what could have been a really good film and just added and added, trying to get nearly everything from the book, plus original things in it. The acting is great from the main characters, but this story is far too long, it’s two hours I won’t be getting back. 18+ 3/5

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