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‘A Simple Favor’: Not So Simple After All

Peter Iovono

Hello fellow nerds and nerdettes, Michelle here. Today we have a lot to talk about, so fix yourself a strong martini and remember that it is five ‘o clock somewhere!

By going to see A Simple Favor in theaters this is a reference you will come to understand. From the opening credits viewers know this is a film that is more than meets the eye. We feel transported back into a time period, the sixties to be more precise, and feel laid back and relaxed before vlogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) graces the screen. While at first everything appears bright and cheery, we quickly discover that life is not all its cracked up to be in Stephanie’s world. Her best friend Emily (Blake Lively) is missing. More than anything she wants to help find her so she shares enough details on her vlog to hopefully make a dent in the case. Without a second thought we want to go on this search with Stephanie for Emily.

Soon afterward we learn that Emily and Stephanie are beyond painfully different. When their kids insist upon having a play date one of the other parents, Darren (Andrew Rannells), remarked that Emily was going to eat Stephanie alive and with good reason. After all, on one hand we have Stephanie who is a prim and proper mommy vlogger widow and Emily is a high end fashion PR manager with a handsome husband, Sean (Henry Golding). From the outside looking in it others perceive that Emily has it all. Not all situations are champagne and roses though and always more than meets the eye. Slowly we begin to learn more about these two women, only to learn that Stephanie is far more forthcoming than Emily, making Stephanie’s crusade all the more difficult when she realizes that she did not really know Emily.

To be fair though, Emily is a person that goes to great lengths to keep a person at arms length. From the moment she wanted Stephanie to delete a picture of her closely followed by her insisting to Stephanie that she doesn’t want to be her friend, my curiosity peeked. I immediately wanted to know more. If I were Stephanie I would have turned into a detective from that moment on. To make matters more intriguing a remark made that make viewers wonder if we ever really know someone at all. More importantly it casts some doubt onto some of the events in Stephanie’s past as well. Everyone has their secrets. Everyone has something darker lurking within, a point even made in the film.

The beauty behind this latest venture from director Paul Feig is that it is a satirical thriller that borderlines on a classic film noir. Lively reminds viewers that she is on the top of her game as she slays the femme fatale persona. A Simple Favor is brightly colored and chic film noir with just as many laughs as plot twists which makes the film far more lovable. There is a line between chaos and control which both female leads teeter back and forth on the entire film. Lively and Kendrick’s ability to play to the other’s strengths is equally as important. The two demand the answer to one question. Who is the cat and who is the mouse in this scenario? The flashback sequences in the film are what make viewers wonder this very question. Who has more secrets? What other information can we attain to reveal who these two women really are? The answer is a lot as Stephanie digs into Emily’s past.

A Simple Favor is a jigsaw puzzle that demands assembly. With each piece of the puzzle, we become even more intrigued how the next event will play out. Viewers will not become disappointed by how the event unfold. We even find ourselves attempting to unveil the secrets before they are revealed to us. We want to know what happened to Emily.  We want to know more about the events of Stephanie’s past. More importantly though, we want to know who we can trust.

Do yourself a favor and do not miss A Simple Favor which is currently in theaters.

Lionsgate

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