A brilliant use of apprehension and liquid gold comedy paired with two moms with many secrets of their own all set the stage for “A Simple Favor.” This film is definitely one for the record books. With suspense and humor to ease the tension, the comical thriller has many mysteries to be uncovered along with a furtive romance that was foreshadowed from the beginning.
The story is centered around a small town where two polar-opposite moms become a dynamic duo — Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick), the single stay-at-home mom who finds her passion in vlogging, and Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), the fashion-plate personality with a seemingly perfect lifestyle. They grow an unlikely friendship that takes a turn from a suburban noir comedy to a nail-biting mystery.
It all starts when Emily asks Stephanie to do the “simple favor” of retrieving her son, Nicky, from school. Suddenly, Stephanie’s nanny job shifts into a crime investigation after Emily mysteriously vanishes. From this suspicious disappearance Stephanie comes to the realization that she didn’t know Emily as well as she thought.
Throughout Stephanie’s journey, she begins to reveal a new side of herself that nobody sees coming. Just like her nickname, “Nancy Drew,” Stephanie’s witty awkwardness masks her contradicting character that unleashes illicit romance and an inquiring mind. Her paradoxical personality is brought into action when she decides nothing will stop her from not only finding, but exposing her “best friend.”
While Emily is missing, a romance between her husband and Stephanie develops. The film includes a few romantic scenes that contain mild sexual content, but are not graphic.
“A Simple Favor” first came out as a novel in March 2017, written by Darcey Bell. With the help of director Paul Feig, Bell’s book was able to come alive on screen and be exposed to the eyes of many viewers.
In order for the true essence of this thriller to come viable with vivid scenes and a complex plot, the two main actresses needed to convince the watchers that they were the embodiment of the characters which was only possible through an intense dedication.
Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick did just that. Blake Lively easily fit into the role of a dior housewife with a hidden past. Her strong personality developed the character beautifully and unfolded her multiple aspects. Anna Kendrick fittingly embodied her character: the typical stay-at-home mom who later reveals a darker side. I was wildly impressed with both actresses as they continuously grew with their parts as the characters became more dynamic.
With a 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb and 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s clear that “A Simple Favor” has become a fan-favorite film. “A Simple Favor” was projected to gross $12 million to $15 million in its opening weekend, but the movie exceeded financial expectations when it made $5.9 million on its first day and $16.1 million over the weekend.
Due to its various enigmas waiting to be solved, “A Simple Favor” kept me excited and full of overwhelming adrenaline from. Is there just a missing person case to solve? Or a murder mystery? You won’t know until you witness the movie with multiple layers that all come together to solve one colossal mystery.
Is “A Simple Favor” a possible Oscar winning film? Will the two main actresses win an Oscar for this film? I hope so because the plot, filming and acting was insanely brilliant.
by Bella Hall and Sophia Parker