A Simple Favor Reviews
As the movie goes on you want it to finish so you can now what´┐ 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)s the truth, what´┐ 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)s is going to happen. You don┬┤t want to take your eyes out of the screen. It is not the tipicall movie where you know what is going to happen, every take takes a twist and it is very interesting to wath.I have to admit that the end was a little too much drama for me, but despite all the script is really good.
I would recommend this movie to all my friends, I think every person that watch this movie would absolutely love it.
Pos. It's a movie.
Neg. Completely bottoms out and dumps its build up all over the floor. Like a vomiting cat.
Verdict - Just not something I'm watching again.. Sorry Anna.
^Hey, that's me!
Examining the rotten core beneath the surface urbanity of suburbia is something that has attracted filmmakers as diverse as Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Joe Dante, Gus Van Sant, and Frank Oz. More recently, novels such as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, have expanded and popularised the suburban noir; the very genre that A Simple Favour's satirical excesses primarily target. However, the film has an undeniable identity crisis due to its genre mash-up characteristics (it's a comic/satirical suburban noir murder mystery thriller). Although director Paul Feig proves adept at handling the parodic side of things, in the latter stages, he tries to ensure the film can exist (relatively) un-ironically within the very genre it's attempting to lampoon. Despite this schizophrenic quality, however, the interplay between the two leads, the heavy stylisation, the playfully self-aware nature of the aesthetic, and the success of the burlesque elements all serve to make the film undeniably entertaining.
A Simple Favour is at its best when working as a parody/satire of suburban-based "mommy murder mysteries". For example, the three main characters are all standard generic templates to the point of cliche; the ingenue who feels honour-bound to do everything she can to find the truth, no matter the cost, ultimately learning as much about herself as anything else; the sardonic, caustic, and utterly shady plot catalyst, who always seems to have an ace up her sleeve and always seems to know more than anyone else; and, the brilliant but frustrated spouse who may, or may not, be in on the crime at the narrative's centre. However, their archetypal characteristics are dialled up to such a degree, that they can't help but seem caricatures.
Opening with a late 1960s Europop-influenced Saul Bass-esque title sequence complete with sliding split-screens and pastel colours, scored to Jean Paul Keller's 1967 "Ca s'est arrange", the film signals its playful tone right from the off. This stylisation is perhaps seen most clearly upon Emily's introduction. As Stephanie shelters from the rain, Emily emerges from a car in slow motion, with the camera starting on her feet before slowly moving up to her head as she raises an umbrella. Cutting to a mid-shot, she then begins to walk across the carpark (still in slow motion), as a broken umbrella blows past her, replacing the tumbleweed of a classic western shootout. The visual design of the scene is predicated on cine-literacy, showing that the filmmakers know how to employ standard genre tropes for comedic effect.
Another element of this awareness is the use of a fractured narrative structure and unreliable narrators, so beloved of classic noir mysteries. The film gets significant mileage out of scenes where the aural narration doesn't even come close to matching the visuals. An especially funny example of this is when Stephanie tells Emily about kissing her step-brother after their father's funeral, and Emily immediately knows she is lying that she only kissed him. Whilst the narrator (Stephanie) flat-out denies she slept with him, the audience sees them having sex, confirming the narratee's (Emily) suspicions.
If there was one element that didn't work, however, it was the mystery plot. Yes, I get that it's all a satire of the multi-twist-for-twist's-sake suburban murder mystery, however, the satirical underpinning doesn't change the fact that the entire mystery at the film's centre is insipid, uninteresting, and predictable, whilst Feig seems unable to bridge the tone of the frothier comic moments and the darker ones. Feig tries to mix scenes of outright comedy with predominantly serious scenes devoid of laughter, and it doesn't work. For example, the film features a scene in which someone who has just been ploughed by a car and is trying to crawl away is nonchalantly told if they don't stop, they're going to hurt their knees. That's pretty dark, but it's also pretty funny. However, it comes only a short while after a scene in which a drug-addict is held under the water and drowned. If scenes of this nature are supposed to be satiric, and hence feed into the film's engagement with the suburban noir, I couldn't see any evidence of it.
For all that, however, I found A Simple Favour enjoyable. The purely-satirical early scenes earn enough goodwill so that the less successful more plot-heavy later scenes don't completely tear the whole thing down. The film as a whole shines a not unwelcome light on the increasingly self-important suburban noir, and for the most part, the parody is very well judged. When the comedy is forced to retreat in the service of more serious material, the tonal balance is definitely knocked off, as the film comes dangerously close to valorising that which it has set out to mock. Despite this, however, it remains entertaining - it won't change your life, but it's a very rewarding couple of hours.
A Simple Favour is a dark comedy that triumphs on the character study of the three main characters, with each character having their own unique personalities and stories to tell.