Quick Takes – “A Simple Favor” (2018)

A Simple Favor (2018) Bron Studios & Lionsgate

This was a unique thriller directed by Paul Feig based on the novel by Darcey Bell. The cast was strong with Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and Henry Golding. And while the tone may be a little off to some, I quite enjoyed this film and would give it (75%) on my entertainment meter. The story follows a mom vlogger that befriends an upper-class mother of her sons friend. Soon after, this woman goes missing and the always curious vlogger goes searching for answers of her own. Now I don’t think this will be a film for everyone. If you’re expecting a more straight-forward thriller with a consistently serious tone, you may be letdown.

It does have flashes of these elements, but it also routinely has strong tones of satire that may throw people off. It isn’t consistently serious, but it isn’t always satirical either, and this may be a little unappealing to some. I did enjoy it though. The moments of suspense were nicely crafted with some intense performances. And I felt the dark comedic tones worked as well. It could have easily been routine but the contrasting tones actually made it more intriguing in my opinion. With the twists and turns feeling a little quick in development, had the tone been serious it would have felt thin in character development and a little scattered in its progression.

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance however. Blake Lively was perfectly suited for the role and she carried the attitude of the character effortlessly. Anna Kendrick was fantastic as well and captured that naivety of the suburban mom with ease. Their chemistry was excellent and perfectly created their oil and water dynamic. It resulted in some intensity, uneasiness, and genuine dark humor that made this film fresh and different from the traditional thrillers. Some layers of the film and the backdrops of the characters are certainly over-bloated. And if you take it too seriously, you may miss the humor of the intended exaggeration.

But at the same time I may have a twisted personality and this film could have actually been a serious thriller laced with deceit and sex. And maybe the humor was not the focus like I assume. Regardless though it was a fun movie. The story may have veered off course at times and some of the relationship dynamics feel far from genuine. But it does course correct itself with some fun misdirection and enough unpredictability that had me invested. The first-act was excellent and sets the broad tone of the film nicely when looking back at it, and if you like the first 15-minutes I think you’ll enjoy the path of mystery it will take you on.    

A Simple Favor - 1
A Simple Favor (2018) Bron Studios & Lionsgate