Full of twists and unexpected turns, “A Simple Favor” is a mystery thriller that explores the sudden disappearance of Emily, played by Blake Lively. Very similar to the popular movie “Gone Girl”, “A Simple Favor” leaves audience guessing over and over what actually happened to Emily. They will be shocked in the end.
Anna Kendrick plays a seemingly perfect mommy blogger named Stephanie who quickly befriends the stylish, yet mysterious Emily. While their sons have play dates, Stephanie and Emily drink gin martinis and divulge their darkest secrets. When Emily suddenly disappears, Stephanie becomes obsessed with finding her best friend, only to be devastated when Emily’s body is reportedly recovered from a lake. Stephanie honors her best friend’s memory by moving into Emily’s house with Emily’s son, Nikki, and husband, Sean. Stephanie becomes the mother and wife Emily never was. Much to Stephanie’s horror, Emily doesn’t seem gone for good just yet. Stephanie becomes determined to uncover the truth of what actually happened to Emily.
The director, Paul Feig, is known for comedy movies like “Bridesmaids” and “Spy” and comedy shows like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” I was surprised to find he was the director of “A Simple Favor,” which was a much darker film than his typical laugh-out-loud funny movies. Although the movie is filled with mystery and suspense, it was also very stylish: full of glamorous outfits and saucy French pop music.
It was also refreshing to see Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively take on different roles than their usual characters. Both their characters in “A Simple Favor” have dark secrets. They aren’t the innocent pretty faces they seem to be. As always, Blake Lively looked stunning in every scene, and had an even more beautiful closet filled with designer clothing. Her pinstripe suits and cane perfectly added to her devious character, leaving the audience a little bit envious of her.
The central themes of the movie went a little awry with twists and betrayals, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, and murder and revenge. The movie seemed to be taking one direction at first, and then flipped a completely different direction about halfway through. It wasn’t until the very end when all chaos broke out, and left the audience reeling with questions.
Overall, the movie was thrilling and kept the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end. The final scene was a bit much and unbelievably dramatic, but it seemed to be the overall intention behind the director’s vision for the movie.