A Simple Favor stuns viewers



When it comes to the friendship between Stephanie and Emily, it’s easy to relate to the film. We all have that one weird friend that we would do anything for.

With a decadent soundtrack, a star-studded cast and enough red herrings to keep a lakeside village from years of starvation, A Simple Favor is a modern crime drama that does not fear itself, (although perhaps at times it should). Adapted from Darcey Bell’s thriller novel of the same name, the screenplay explores the relationship between Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), an optimistic single mother with a knack for video blogging and creating the perfect fudge brownies and Emily (Blake Lively), her chic, statuesque new acquaintance.

Brought together by their sons’ friendship and their bored bourgeoise surroundings, the unlikely pair are instantly enamored with each other’s lifestyles. Set in the background of Emily’s home, which drips with the same luxury and sophistication as her wardrobe, the two share a couple rounds of spilled martinis and secrets, appearing to be on a path to establishing an unparalleled bond. That is, until Emily appears to entirely evaporate, leaving behind her equally debonair husband (Henry Golding), her young child and her picture-perfect life. Emily’s final request to Stephanie? To do her “a simple favor” and retrieve her son from school.

Armed with good-natured intentions and a mother’s innate intuition, Stephanie embarks on a quest to discover the true nature of her dashing new friend’s curious disappearance, entangling herself in the femme fatale’s evasive past. As the plot thickens and the score soars, the seemingly average world of Stephanie and Emily distorts itself into almost hysterical universe, where everything is a clue and everyone is a victim, a culprit, or a terrible mixture of both.

An enigmatic blend of both classic film noir and high spirited comedic goodness, A Simple Favor embraces all of its twists and turns with fervor—and believe me, there are plenty of them to be had. While the latter portions of it appear to be overzealous, almost surrealist in nature, the majority of the movie’s two-hour duration is an honest, enjoyable time.

Like Emily’s pantsuit collection, this film takes a usually quite masculine genre, dominated by businessmen in tight suits and adds a splash of loving femininity to it, making it a perfect date night for the more mature crowd.

4 out of 4 stars