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‘A Simple Favor’ (review)

Produced by Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson
Screenplay by Jessica Sharzer
Based on A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
Directed by Paul Feig
Starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively,
Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells

 

A Simple Favor is a well made thriller comedy written by Jessica Sharzer, based on the novel of the same name by Darcy Bell, and is directed by Paul Feig.

In a total 180º turn from the maligned and ill received Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, Feig not only ventures into the world of intrigue and mystery with, A Simple Favor, but he redeems himself as a filmmaker in my eyes as well.

When a do-gooder with too much time and energy on her hands, single mommy blogger, Stephanie, becomes friends with the town’s mysterious hip urban mom, Emily, Stephanie’s world is thrown into chaos and the unexpected when Emily disappears.

It is up to Stephanie to unravel the mystery of who her friend was and why she disappeared.

This well executed film was both hilarious and intense. It reminded me of Gone Girl, but with a frenetic, hipster-style like if a Pinterest board went crazy and murdered its pinner, but the murder was pinned on Tumblr.

Stephanie is brilliantly portrayed by Anna Kendrick. Kendrick is perfectly cast as the slightly anal, overly cute and innocent protagonist. It is wonderful to see her start out as we always see her in most of her films and slowly, almost unwillingly become a hard-boiled detective looking for the truth surrounding her new friends vanishing.

Blake Lively is amazing as the cool as silk and just as sexy Emily. The urban go getting working mom whom is one part Wall Street ball-breaker and one part secretive spy. The two play well off each other and It is wonderful to see them both slowly change over the course of the film into almost entirely different characters.

It is a real treat to see how skillfully Feig directed this thriller, especially after letting me down with the unnecessarily made Ghostbusters: Answer the Call. It was sloppy and weak filmmaking at best and was only saved by Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth.

A Simple Favor is well paced and well written. Feig’s use of humor and comedy that he knows so well are excellent and the actual mystery of the story kept me guessing. I was sure that the movie was going to end a certain way as it seemed as it was being telegraphed, but I was completely wrong and for that I give him high praise.

For me, this film was a breath of fresh air in the world of explosive action packed superhero films and it was nice to sit back and be taken on a ride not knowing where the story was going to take me.

I enjoyed this film a lot and recommend it. If you are looking to be entertained and be taken on a pretty intense ride then this is the film for you.

 

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