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Twisty, twisted, and above all simply fun, A Simple Favor casts a stylish mommy noir spell strengthened by potent performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
All Critics (223)
| Top Critics (32)
| Fresh (191)
| Rotten (32)
A deeply confused movie that feels like a mash-up of Mean Girls and an episode of Law and Order.
Kendrick and Lively have never been funnier, snapping one-liners at each other like elastic bands; the script is hyper-alert to the undercurrent of competitiveness between stay-at-home and working mums.
With its saucy French pop music and pastel Saul Bass-inspired credits, this film is so hungry to seem like a classic thriller that you come away charmed by its pure-hearted ambition.
Until an ending that flies ruinously off the rails, Paul Feig's bouncy comedy-thriller brings out the scrappy best in Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively and offers an unexpected take on the twists and turns of female friendship.
The performances by Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are so invigorating, so generous with pointed inflections and snappy gestures, that they fill the movie's good-humored, amply plotted emptiness.
Director Paul Feig doesn't seem able to decide whether he's making a slightly outré crime comedy, a blithely twisted relationship thriller, a brightly lit horror melodrama, or maybe an arch meta-take on all three.
Intentionally hilarious and slyly sexy and shocking.
A Simple Favor is filmed with a ton of style and panache and while I'm not sure all the plot devices hold up to deep scrutiny it is an enjoyable whodunit to watch.
A weird exposition of americana mixed with a complex plot. Weirdly it works. [Full review in Spanish].
Though messy at times, with some hit or miss humor, the core cast is so engaging and the mystery is just compelling enough that the offbeat tone works perfectly.
The film contains a soupcon of drama, a morsel of mystery and more than a dash of dark humour.
Thanks to a smart script and great performances from its leading ladies, A Simple Favour is a surprisingly old-fashioned thriller that's never, ever dull.
I really don't know what vibe A Simple Favor was going for, but I know I kinda liked it.
Entertaining. I did like the dark humor and Blake Lively was perfect as the disturbed Emily. The bit at the end was the step too far, though.
Paul Feig has shown us before what an enviable talent he has for blending different genres, but here he truly outdoes himself, making a clever, twisty and always gripping film that makes us hold our breath as it moves so effortlessly from dark comedy to crime noir to even horror.
I always enjoy films that surprise me. Since the beginning of the film industry, the awe and wonder of going to the movies has always been the joy of seeing the movie itself. Whether a mystery film gives you a great plot twist or a comedy makes you laugh harder than you have ever laughed before, getting more than what you expect is always a plus. A Simple Favor is one of the latest films to receive a book-to-film adaption, and while many of those movies are ripped apart by fans of the novels, I have always been someone who watches the movie for the movie, regardless if I have read the book or not. In this particular case, this entire premise was new to me upon viewing the first trailer, so I went into this film completely cold, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. If you're a fan of mystery in any form of the word, then I believe you'll share in the experience of having a great time at the movies with this one.
A Simple Favor follows Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) and Emily (Blake Lively) as their kids want to hang out with each other after school, which allows them to form a friendship of their very own. After Emily asks Stephanie to watch her son for a while, she completely vanishes, not answering phone calls, texts, emails, etc. Stephanie, along with Emily's husband, Sean (Henry Golding), do their very best to uncover the mystery of her absence, while possibly even forming a bond of their own. This film is filled with plot twists that I never saw coming and a conclusion that not only flips this genre on its head but also has a dark comedy element as well, which is probably due to the fact that Paul Feig was at the helm.
Although not written by him, director Paul Feig has been known for his comedies in Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy, all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. It was a surprise to see him tackling a dramatic mystery, but when you really sit back and experience this film for all that it is, it's quite comical under the surface. Aside from maybe Bridesmaids, this may actually be my favourite film of his. Written by Jessica Sharzer (Nerve, American Horror Story) and newcomer Darcey Bell, it was very clear that they were the ones who kept this film on track in terms of the dramatic tone and clever plot twists, but it's very apparent that Paul Feig had some fun with it when piecing it all together when filming began. This film is a true mix of both.
Even though I'd almost say that I loved this movie, I do have to admit that I fear some audiences may be turned off by the comedic undertone. If you're not the type of viewer who can accept a comedic beat that immediately follows a tragic incident, then A Simple Favor may be a little too uneven for you. It worked for me, personally, but I can see where the criticism may come into play. To myself, this is a very well-written and well-directed film from beginning to end, with a lot of attention to detail.
Overall, A Simple Favor kind of came out of nowhere for me. I wasn't aware this film was coming out and I'm glad it got a wide release for everyone to see. If you're looking for a film to surprise you, this may end up being one of your most memorable film experiences of 2018. While I can't see it receiving any big nominations, it deserves far more attention than what it's currently getting. Through all its plot twists and comedic elements, I found myself completely engaged with this story. A Simple Favor is a pleasant surprise of a movie that I highly recommend.
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