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Film Review: “A Simple Favor” (2018) ★★★★


Anna Kendrick is surely one of the most talented comedic actresses of her generation, if not one of the best singing actresses you may see on the silver screen. Blake Lively, not sure about her singing abilities, but no doubt holds the title of one of the most charismatic talents of her generation. Now imagine for a second the result both leading ladies can deliver when they share the same screen together! Oh, I know, guessing and assuming is part of our daily life, but please do a simple favor to yourself and take a trip down the nearby theater to see one of the finest cinematic experiences brought by director Paul Feig.

Stephanie is a single mother. She raises her only child alone after losing her dear husband in a car accident. She has friends, but not a best one until she meets the mysterious Emily Nelson, who will tell the only truth no one will ever doubt about – “Oh Stephanie, you better not be my friend, trust me on that.” That is something Stephanie misses, of course, and fully embraces the opportunity to be a part of Emily’s life, her handsome husband, Sean, and even looks after their little son, Nick, when Emily is too busy to pick her child up from school. Things change suddenly when Emily calls Stephanie asking for one simple favor – to pick up her son from school while she herself vanishes without a trace.

The best part of the film begins as soon as it starts. Literally. Everything from that moment on, when you find Stephanie looking at the fabulous style of Emily, her beauty, and overall look, it seems she’s simply stunned by everything Emily has to offer. The dialogues the two have are as delicious as it could get. When both Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are sitting on the couch and drinking a strong martini, Emily and Stephanie, through mind-blowing performances delivered by the Kendrick/Lively duo, deliver one of the best scenes of the year.

Stephanie, after the disappearance of Emily, is quite upset and does her best to help the police to locate her whereabouts, while she runs her vblog and looks after two children now instead of one. However, not everything appears as easy when Kendrick’s Stephanie begins her own digging, finding the kind of clues only her curiosity could get her somewhere. And she does get closer to the truth, anything you will be seeing will no longer appear funny, but rather an amusing experience this truly stunning and chic movie has to offer.

Based on the novel, “A Simple Favor”, this movie, accidentally or not, becomes the most extravagant, elegant mysterious thriller you will wish to have more of. Paul Feig masterfully directs it by allowing the two actresses to do the best they can to portray two strange but rich characters in a way you will never stop admiring them. The screenplay has given plenty of room to actresses to play with their characters, and they do, trust me on that, in quite a delicate way. But in the end, it’s about friendship, how one relied more on the other. It’s a cat-and-mouse game where both Emily and Stephanie are too far from being Tom and Jerry. They are just much more than fictional characters sometimes you will wish were not so real.

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