A Simple Favor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Simple Favor Reviews

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May 12, 2019
I'm a fan. The twists and turns AMAZING. Had all of the allure that you'd expect from Paul Feig.
May 12, 2019
This has become my favourite movie of all time!
May 8, 2019
Anna and Blake shine in this movie. It is thrilling with twists and turns, but it lost a star for me because I didn't really like any of the main characters. I wouldn't watch it again, but it certainly wasn't a bad movie. A good choice if you are on a plane!
½ May 1, 2019
Fun movie with some good twists. Not perfect, but still a good watch.
½ April 30, 2019
Kendrick and Lively are the saviors for this movie. Without them, They take a mediocre script and transform it into humor and wit. Not even they could save it from the contrived, and frankly lazy, final scenes, though. The book won't be a Pulitzer Prize winner anytime soon, but at least it offered a decent ending.
½ April 29, 2019
This movie blends mystery and comedy with great success. Anna Kendrick is delightful in her role as an awkward single mother, who is desperate to please. The quirky script keeps the audience of this thriller guessing whilst enjoying some laughs along the way.
April 27, 2019
God underholdning i en film, der ikke kan finde ud af, om den vil være en seriøs thriller med plot twists eller en morbid, sort komedie. Blake Lively er fortryllende, stoisk, giver mig lyst til at se Diabolique og drikke Vodka Martini's.
½ April 24, 2019
Stylised, self-aware, and hilarious - a (mostly) enjoyable parody

A semi-comedic look at the lives of two young mothers in an affluent American suburb, coupled with a mystery plot, A Simple Favour has an undeniable identity crisis due to its genre mash-up characteristics. Although director Paul Feig proves adept at handling the parodic side of things, in the latter stages, he seems to be trying to ensure the film can exist (relatively) un-ironically within the suburban noir genre, the very genre it's attempting to lampoon. Despite this schizophrenic quality, however, it's an undeniably film.

Adapted by Jessica Sharzer from Darcey Bell's 2017 novel, A Simple Favour tells the story of Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick), a widowed single-mum who runs a life hacks vlog with minimal viewership. Enter Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), a public relations executive for a major fashion label. Soon after meeting, the two bond, with Stephanie in awe of Emily, who seems to have it all; a good-looking novelist/lecturer husband, Sean (Henry Golding), a gorgeous house, a successful career, a great kid, and an acerbic attitude that Stephanie would kill for. Several weeks later, with Emily held up at work, she asks Stephanie to pick up her son, and she'll collect him later. Except she doesn't collect him. As a few days go by, Stephanie and Sean report her missing. However, unsatisfied with the direction the investigation is taking, Stephanie is soon amateur sleuthing her way across the country.

A Simple Favour is at its best when working as a parody of "mommy murder mysteries", gently (and often not so gently) exposing some of its more unrealistic tropes to ridicule. For example, the three main characters are all generic templates to the point of cliche; the ingenue who feels honour-bound to do everything she can to find the truth; the sardonic and caustic plot catalyst, who always seems to have an ace up her sleeve; and, the brilliant but frustrated spouse who may, or may not, be in on the crime. However, their archetypal characteristics are dialled up to such a degree that they can't help but seem caricatures.

Opening with a late Saul Bass-esque title sequence, scored to Jean Paul Keller's "Ca s'est arrange" (1967), the film signals its playful tone right from the off. The emphasis on 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. Apart from being a memorable introduction to the character, the visual design of the scene is predicated on cine-literacy, showing that the filmmakers are more than aware of standard genre tropes, and, more importantly, how to employ them for comedic effect.

Indeed, the entire film revels in its own intertextual awareness, with later references to such defining noirs as Gaslight (1944), Spellbound (1945), and Les diaboliques (1955). Large portions of the film feature narration within narration, a technique so beloved of classic noir mysteries.

If there was one element of that didn't work, however, it was the mystery plot. I get that it's all a satire of the multi-twist-for-twist's-sake suburban murder mystery, with the preposterousness of such plots played for maximum farcicality. However, Feig is unable to bridge the tone of the frothier comic moments and the darker ones which become increasingly prevalent towards the end. 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 moments after a scene in which a drug-addict is held under the water and drowned. Not a huge amount to laugh at there.

For all that, however, I found A Simple Favour most enjoyable. The purely-satirical early scenes earn enough goodwill so that the 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, but despite this, A Simple Favour remains very entertaining. It won't change your life, but it's a rewarding couple of hours.
April 22, 2019
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. A Simple Favor is a mystery, thriller that follows a single mom named Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) who while picking her son up from school meets Emily (Blake Lively) who is practically the opposite of Stephanie. Emily invites her over, so that their kids can have a play date. During this time Emily reveals that she works as a PR manager for a fashion company. Emily doesn't give one F about anyone it seems other than her son. She is foul mouthed, very powerful and finds that she likes Stephanie for her energy and stories. Soon enough the two become friends, but it seems that Emily is just having Stephanie watch her son. One day after Stephanie is watching the kids and Emily's husband Sean (Henry Golding) has to go to England for an emergency Stephanie realizes that it's getting late and Emily hasn't picked her son up. Two days pass and Sean comes home and the two decide to call the police. Soon enough a manhunt goes on to try and find Emily. During this time Stephanie starts looking into why Emily might have left and begins to dig up some very dark things about Emily's past. The movie has a pretty good pace. I enjoyed that it was quite funnier than I thought it was going to be. The mystery of it all is a fairly good twist, but I figured it out pretty quick. Kendrick is really good here as Stephanie and I especially enjoyed how dark her own past story is when it's revealed. I enjoyed this one and didn't think this would initially would be for me. I would recommend giving it a look.
½ April 15, 2019
A witty and fun mystery. The tone of the movie seems to jump around a lot from dark to ridiculous which jarred me awake from the fictive dream on occasion. However, even when the movie strained the limits of willing suspension of disbelief, it was still amusing enough that I didn't really care.
April 12, 2019
Hands down! The best thriller I've seen in a while!
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2019
Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively star in the odd dark comedy(?) A Simple Favor. When her best friend goes missing Stephanie uses her cooking video blog to launch her own investigation (with the help of her followers) and soon learns that her friend wasn't who she thought she was and that she faked her own death. Both Kendrick and Lively give strong performance (especially Lively) and have great chemistry together. The script is kind of weak and takes a while to get to the plot, but once the murder mystery kicks in the film starts picking up momentum and doesn't let up. And it's a good mystery, fully of suspense and intrigue. Plus there's some quirky black humor that's rather amusing. It has a few rough spots, but overall A Simple Favor is an entertaining and fun crime thriller.
½ March 26, 2019
This is one of my favorite films of the year. Something about the black comedy meets mystery/drama nature of this film works on every level. Kendrick, Lively, and Golding provide enthusiastic and intriguing performances. Kendrick portrayal of naivete and unabashed loyalty, and her character's transition in the third act are fantastic. Lively does a great job charming the audience with her sharp and abrasive performance. The combination of the elements really draws the audience in, and the remainder of the film does a great job toying with the audience's expectations without trying to get unnecessarily convoluted. I would definitely recommend checking it out.
½ March 24, 2019
this is a good movie. with just two characters they get developed nicely throughout the film. it keeps you engaged because the plot is simple. it starts with one simple favor that turns into a story

good actresses and is quite funny. i would recommend this movie for anyone who wants to watch a good tale
March 20, 2019
Director Paul Feig doesn't seem to know what direction to take this film as it contains multiple plot holes, but overall, "A Simple Favor" is a fun, noir mystery with some dark comedy and two strong charismatic performances from Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
½ March 19, 2019
There has been many disappointing times in my life, but when my wife made me pick this garbage movie up from the redbox. Nothing else will top that. Much rather get water boarded.
½ March 18, 2019
Unpredictable until the last of the twists and the last of the amalgamated film genres, from the black comedy to the thriller and the noir. Much more delightful than the heavily intellectualistic Fincher of "Gone Girl" (2014).
(Mauro Lanari)
March 18, 2019
I understand how others have opposed views on this film, but personally, I actually enjoyed it. It's humor definitely put a smile on my face. I would love to see this again.
½ March 18, 2019
This is a poorly written and poorly directed film. It contains many story elements that serve no purpose for driving the plot and don't come back into play later, the twist is not really a twist by today's standards, the protagonist has no actual story arch, and it changes genres towards the end into some kind of lighthearted comedy with one liners. The acting is good but too bad it is wasted.
½ March 13, 2019
A surprising attempt from Paul Feig of exploring deeper themes, which unfortunately sort of vanishes by the end with a rather "simple" conclusion, but overall the performances are great and the enjoyment is guaranteed.
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