A Simple Favour fits perfectly into the lesser tapped genre of comedy mystery by beautifully mixing naughty and sweet.
Firstly, let me start with saying how refreshing it was to watch a film with two credible, talented female lead actors. Both these actors did not need to rely on a male hero to come save the day and solve all their problems. They simply pulled up their sleeves and became their own heroes. It’s ever cooler because these heroes just happen to be mothers.
A Simple Favour is a comedy with a dark thread running through it. Anna Kendrick stars as Stephanie, a widow raising her young son in a chilly Connecticut suburb. From her tidy, bright kitchen festooned with children’s drawings, she regularly hosts a self-produced internet program. Stephanie’s peddling the perfect mother – she volunteers for everything and anything going on at her son’s school. Her viewership increases through a meaningful clip in which she announces that her new friend, Emily (Blake Lively), has gone missing. Emily is perfect. She’s a successful PR director for a top fashion designer with mansion, a loving doting husband and a beautiful son. And to add to all this, she has the sexiest wardrobe in town. They soon become best friends, with Stephanie being the perfect fan girl to Emily.
The director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) sets the tone above the run of the mill comedy, cutesy female led movie and taps into a darker and bolder space. The story steps up when Emily goes missing. Followed by some twists and kinks, a shady past surfaces — and the movie seemingly, encouragingly, head into Gillian Flynn terrain, where the world and women alike are messy, complex and sometimes brutal.
A Simple Favour leaves a mark, not just because of its story, but because of Lively and Kendrick’s fun and fiery performances that pump oxygen into their caricatures. Lively plays her flashy part convincingly and looks like a vision. But it is Kendrick portrayal of a door-mat mum, that truly grips you. She, and I don’t say this lightly, is a pro at comedy. Go watch this one, I’m sure you’ll leave feeling pleasantly surprised.