A SIMPLE FAVOR review by Patrick Hendrickson – Anna Kendrick makes a mysterious new friend

A SIMPLE FAVOR review by Patrick Hendrickson – Anna Kendrick makes a mysterious new friend

A SIMPLE FAVOR is a mystery/comedy/slice-of-life production that tells the tale of Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a suburban single mother who makes friends with another mom named Emily (Blake Lively). The film is every bit as nonsensical as that mix of genres sounds like and it is brilliant for it.

One afternoon, Emily calls Stephanie and asks for her to pick up her son from school since she is swamped at work. This seems innocent enough at first because Emily lives a very busy professional life working in a high-class fashion business. However, Emily then mysteriously goes missing, leaving Stephanie to figure out what’s happened to her new best friend.

Anna Kendrick is absolutely stunning in the lead role and leads the cast down the rabbit hole that this movie ends up being. Blake Lively is not present for a vast majority of the movie, but she too is very strong in her role as the mysterious Emily. Emily turns out to have kept quite a few secrets from Stephanie as well as her own family, and only Stephanie seems devoted to unraveling all of what’s gone on. The plot is absolutely a mess of twists, double and triple-crosses, and more than a little bit of subterfuge on the part of everyone involved. It’s a mess, but it is a beautiful one. There are times where things get a little bit difficult to follow, but things are wrapped up nice and neat by the end of everything.

This mystery thriller is mixed with a heavy dosage of comedy throughout with most of the jokes being centered on Stephanie being every bit of a ditzy suburban mom that one might expect, but even she has her own dark past that is explored and hinted at several times throughout the production. The tone of this film is all over the place and yet somehow manages to remain consistent throughout. There is an expertly crafted atmosphere of comedy and mystery present within A SIMPLE FAVOR despite the intense juggling act that this presents for everyone involved.

There are no weak links in the cast, no comedic moments that fall flat, the only issue is that occasionally the mystery becomes difficult to follow. Still, this does not become so much of a problem that the movie becomes something not particularly enjoyable. By the end of the story everything is wrapped up nicely with the kind of care and attentiveness that Stephanie herself would put into one of her school projects.

Sitting down to write a review about this roller coaster is difficult due to the sheer absurdity that it represents. What can certainly be said is that the production is entertaining, highly entertaining at that. There are no weak links in the cast from the smallest to the largest roles. The only areas of concern would be the convoluted plot that can become difficult to follow at a few points. Overall, A SIMPLE FAVOR gets a 4/5.

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