Ever had someone come up to you and insist that you remind them of a character in a movie? Ever have like 6 people vehemently repeat that you MUST see the movie because the girl is “basically you”? Well, ever watch that movie and pleasantly agree but also *SPOILER ALERT* learn that the character is also deceptively psycho?
Yea that was what happened when I finally watched A Simple Favor the comdey-thiller (extra strong soap opera?) from the ~darker side~ of Paul Feig. I had numerous people come up to me and insist that Anna Kendrick’s mommy-blogger character, Stephanie, was reminiscent of yours truly. Honestly, I’m extremely flattered because I also possess a beatific countenance and charming awkwardness that I can use to my advantage. Also, her clothes? Yes! Costume design pleases send me that ridiculous pom-pom ensemble she is wearing when she creeps through the house stat. This movie happened to be just extremely my sh*t: fabulous outfits, Anna Kendrick, shade masqueraded as politeness, shirtless Henry Golding, and a solid helping of pop-culture satire. That’s my sweet spot.
Not only did I enjoy the comparison to Kendrick, who is one of the most effortlessly funny actors out there, but I also truly enjoyed this stylish, tangled, and twisting thrill of a movie. A Simple Favor is a pure, sugary delight like the treats that Stephanie makes in her mommy vlogs. I remember that when the film was being advertised the trailer and social media were intentionally obtuse and presented the film much like the main character Emily, as an enigma. And that is exactly what Feig accomplished, this puzzle of a film defies normal genres and creates its own rules. The film starts off as a simple plot of two unlikely people becoming friends, but it soon evolves into so much more as Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) get’s drawn to the mysterious and elegant life of Emily (a hypnotic and deeply impressive Blake Lively) and a simple favor turns into much, MUCH more.
The film is part comedy, part black comedy, part erotic thriller, part family tragedy, part love triangle and all entertainment titillation at its finest. I don’t want to ruin any of the sneaky schemes, lemon twists or plot twists, but I will say that this film introduced me to a whole other level of Blake Lively as an actress and showed why Anna Kendrick was able to snag an Oscar nomination in a movie about air travel. It also gave a deliciously seedy side to Henry Golding that I may have enjoyed too much.
This film probably won’t garner many award nominations (@ Academy, SAG, etc prove me wrong!) but I think that it is going to be a sleeper hit that is going to gain a loyal following for its campy and sardonic tone that just creates this rich satire about everything from Hollywood’s obsession with beautiful, mysterious women to the strange sub-culture of mommy-bloggers. It shows that no film is as simple as a guilty pleasure and that there is no such thing as a simple favor. So do me a favor and go watch it.