By Cynthia Ayala
“Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.” —IMDB
What a great film, Blake Lively is amazing when she plays the villain. I somehow always knew she’d be great, but of course, she’s great in most things and this film was no exception, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
As for the story, the way it began and progressed was amazing and unsuspecting. It began in such a way to build up the history and relationship between Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) and Emily (Blake Lively), and it’s a wild friendship because the pair don’t seem to match up at all. You have the vlogger stay-at-home mommy and then the career woman mommy who barely sees her kid. Possibly what makes them work so well together is the fact that the pair don’t diminish each other as mothers and grow to appreciate each other, as much as any two people can. They get to know each other and form a real friendship with one another, which makes the twists and turns in the film even more gripping because then the audience is left to wonder what the hell is real and what’s not. What is a lie?
The audience is kept on the edge of their seats for the entire film because this mystery unfolds the viewer is learning that nothing is at it seems and Stephanie, this mommy vlogger is going on the road to investigate the disappearance of her best friend, the first real best friend she’s had in a long time. So, it’s gripping, the twists and turns are completely unsuspecting and it’s peculiar how the film progresses to maintain this ambiguity.
At the end of the day, while the story is amazing, it’s also the actors that give it that edge. They all have this undeniable chemistry with one another and bring to life this spunk and attitude that make them shine. Kendrick is great at being quirky while Lively is great at harnessing this cool girl attitude of a woman who doesn’t give a shit. And yet, they balance each other out quite well showcasing their brilliant minds behind the façade’s. They offer up great performances that lighten up the film breaking up the tension with charisma.
A Simple Favor delivers non-stop tension in this mystery thriller that seeks to unfold years of lies between two ambitions and driven women, and let me just say, it was great! (★★★★ | A)
Directed by Paul Feig
Screenplay by Jessica Sharzer
Based on A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
Distributed by Lionsgate