A Simple Favor a Bit Too Simple

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A Simple Favor a Bit Too Simple

Emily Haik, Senior

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The movie A Simple Favor directed by Paul Feig portrays a modern day mystery. Feig, who is mostly known for his comedies such as Spy and Bridesmaids, took his directing away from his regular comedic films and brought his skills to a different genre. All though the film is based on a best selling thriller of the same name, there were still bits of adult humor thrown in, which is no surprise with Feig. With award winning actresses such as Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as co-stars, the acting itself is tremendous throughout the movie. Lively, mostly known for her role in Gossip Girl, plays Emily Nelson, a mysterious mother who lives a luxury life with a luxury job. Emily is not considered your typical working mother, and has her own very different parenting ideas when it comes to raising her child.

In the beginning of the film Emily is befriended by her sons friends mother Stephanie Smothers who is played by Anna Kendrick, mostly known for her role in Pitch Perfect. Stephanie, is a bright quirky mother who is always eager to volunteer for any school event. As a single parent, she spends most of her time with her son and running her popular “Vlog,” doing weekly uploads for parenting tips, recipes, and DIYs. In many scenes it seems as though she doesn’t have any friends, which is why she spends so much of her time with her son. That all changes when Stephanie is asked over the Nelson’s house for martinis while their sons have a playdate together.  Although the two characters in the film are the complete opposite of one another, they quickly become close friends, even calling one another “best friends” after just meeting only weeks prior. As the friendship between their two sons blossom, so does the unusual friendship between the two mothers. Emily is a straight shooter when it came to the one on one conversations she has with Stephanie. Stephanie although she is portrayed as the innocent mother, reveals her deepest darkest secrets to Emily as they get drunk off of martinis at the Nelson house. The more the viewers see of Emily, the more they realize how she is playing Stephanie for her own amusement — almost as if Emily is the superior in the friendship and Stephanie is just the follower who is mesmerized by Emily’s luxurious lifestyle.

This upcoming friendship takes a harsh turn when Emily asks Stephanie for a “simple favor” to watch her son after school, and then she disappears.

Being Emily’s only friend, Stephanie quickly becomes the center of attention. While helping the cops try and track down her friend, she also takes on the role of caring for  Emily’s husband and son. This is when we really see a whole different side of the Stephanie than what we meet at the beginning of the film. Because when Stephanie takes on the task of finding her best friend, she quickly finds out there’s a deeper darker side that Emily kept hidden, making her question their friendship. Stephanie uses her vlog to promote the investigation asking her viewers if they had any information that would lead to the location of Emily’s whereabouts, but the more Stephanie digs, the more she finds out about Emily’s past life. As Stephanie get closer and closer to hopefully finding out where her best friend is, the more twisted the investigation becomes leaving the audience questioning everything that happened in the movie both before and after Emily went missing.

Although the movie itself is a thriller, it’s also a clique on its own. There are certain aspects of the movie that makes it unique and entertaining, but this is mostly because of the actors who portray the characters not the plot itself. A Simple Favor follows the same series of events as any other mystery. Who goes missing? Why? Are they dead? Is what many viewers ask themselves throughout the movie and yet those are the same questions we find ourselves asking in any thriller mystery movie. There is nothing in this movie that could one day make it a classic because its very unoriginal with a predictable outcome at the end of the movie.

Overall, I give the movie 3.5 stars. This is mainly because although the casting was brilliant and there was some amazing shots that Feig created, the basis of the plot of the film was bland and predictable. A Simple Favor is an entertaining movie, but nothing that stands out among thrillers.

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