I don’t know why I kept running into this movie. A Simple Favor is a blend of mystery and comedy based on a novel and a generally enjoyable movie. It’s not going to blow you away and it’s not going to disappoint you. Now, I know I’m not the target audience since this is clearly meant for housewives but I still enjoyed it. To me, it felt like one of those old-school eighties television mystery movies updated to today’s standards. The studios compared it to Gone Girl and The Girl in the Train. I would add that A Simple Favor is funnier and more aloof than them.
So, we will be following Stephanie Smothers, a spunky single mom who strikes up an odd friendship with high-powered Emily Nelson, after their sons start hanging out in school. As you can probably guess trouble will soon follow. Trouble and a lot of mystery. The pacing is solid and the same can be said about storytelling. However, the final third of the movie feels rushed and sloppy. Since I wasn’t all that much invested in the story or the characters, that didn’t bother me too much.
There are two reasons why A Simple Favor turned out to be a movie worth watching and their names are Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. The two of them had great on-screen chemistry and made this somewhat muddled script work. I recommend you check out Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston but also Anna for a bit more bitter fun. I also liked the school gang and it’s too bad they didn’t get some kind of subplot. That would be hilarious although the second part of this movie is in production so fingers crossed.
Vlogs about cooking are all the rage now and Stephanie Smothers decided to make one too. She’s a single mother full of energy and love for her son who soon makes a new friend at school. The two of them conspire to set up a play date and this is how Stephanie meets Emily, a very wealthy and influential PR for a high-profile fashion company. She doesn’t know it yet but her whole life is about to change just because of this faithful meeting.
If you look at the three main characters of A Simple Favor on paper, they sound incredibly annoying. They’re stereotypical, brash, and entitled, each in their own way. And yet, they still somehow work together in bringing about this bizarrely energetic atmosphere full of mystery. An atmosphere that will make you wonder if you’re turning into a desperate housewife despite being a 39-year-old man without kids. A man who did watch all of the Desperate Housewives episodes, just to be perfectly clear.
Director: Paul Feig
Writers: Darcey Bell, Jessica Sharzer
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Ian Ho, Joshua Satine
Fun Facts: Darcey Bell’s didn’t even finish writing her debut novel A Simple Favor when the studios decided to turn it into a movie.