A Simple Favor (2018)

On my last trip to the movies, two trailers stuck with me, that of the Italian remake of The Invisible Guest and A Simple Favor’s. The latter really intrigued me as it was hard from the trailer to tell what the film was about. Also, I like Anna Kendrick and the movie was received pretty well worldwide, so I checked it out.

The story follows Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick), a widowed single mother with a parenting vlog. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she meets Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), a super-busy working mother whose son Nicky (Ian Ho) attends the same school as her son, Miles (Joshua Satine). The two become fast friends, arranging play dates for the boys when Emily is too busy to pick her son up, but then one day she goes missing and Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.

While it’s a little flawed as there is a subplot involving Stephanie’s past that goes absolutely nowhere and has no impact on the story, the plot is quite complex, it takes some interesting twists and turns and it’s so unpredictable, it keeps you guessing from start to finish as the mystery unfolds.

The characters are a bit over the top and quite stereotyped, especially Stephanie, the quirky and awkward stay-at-home mom who is the perfect example of the suburban stereotype. However, both Stephanie and Emily have a backstory that makes them very interesting characters, and they both have development.

Anna Kendrick does a wonderful job as Stephanie. Yes, her character has the personality of every other character she has played, but Stephanie is more complex than your typical Kendrick character and she does a very good job at portraying that. Blake Lively is quite a delight as Emily –she picked the clothes for Emily herself because she wanted to differentiate the character from Gossip Girl’s Serena as they both are women in fashion from the Upper East Side, but it’s her performance that makes the two women, Emily and Serena, completely different.

What strikes the most about A Simple Favor is its genre, or rather the difficulty at figuring how what genre the film is. Overall, it's a mystery murder story with many elements of a psychological thriller but at the same time, it's a dark comedy and at some point, it is some sort of romantic film. It's quite a combination and it works well because of Paul Feig's direction as he manages to build tension and deliver laughters at the same time. At last, the soundtrack, which features some old French songs, is very pleasing. 


  1. YEY so glad you liked it! It's one of my fav films of the year, Lively was just fantastic!

  2. Nice review! I didn't quite know what to expect with A Simple Favor, but it was thrilling and funny. I was really impressed with Paul's direction and the cast.

    1. I was expecting it to be funny but thrilling, not even in a million years!