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Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Simple Favor 2018 * * * Stars

A Simple FavorDirector: Paul Feig
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding

Stephanie Smothers as a widowed mom living in Connecticut, befriends a married mom named Emily Nelson. Emily has a nice house, a smarmy attitude, a love of alcohol, and a checkered past (as does Stephanie). When Stephanie decides to watch Emily's kid as a favor, Emily goes missing. Stephanie then becomes mousy and flamboyant detective. That's the beginning blueprint of A Simple Favor and it's my latest review. In all honesty, I thought "Favor" was strictly gonna be a spellbinding thriller (trailers do that sometimes). I didn't know there would be some out of place humor, some snobbery, some tongue-in-cheek, and some violent slapstick thrown in.

Released at just under two hours with guessing game remnants and mounds of twists in tote, A Simple Favor is satiric, blackly comedic, and single white female-d. With the novel-based "Favor", funnyman director Paul Feig shows us a dark side we thought he never had. He just does a better job of hiding it that's all (hence one of the lines in the movie). Paul's direction here isn't any more flashy or conspicuous. He just goes rogue and bends his curiosity for genres sake (viewers of Bridesmaids, Spy, and the rebooted Ghostbusters are gonna be thrown for a loop).

Image result for a simple favor movie scenesIn A Simple Favor, Feig disregards regulars Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, and Rose Byrne this time around. He instead goes with Anna Kendrick (as Stephanie) and Blake Lively (Emily) as mano-a-mano, female leads. It almost feels like perfect casting. Feig also saddles "Favor" with a sort of Mexican standoff ending and a sense of upsetting malaise. The dialogue is F-bombed (and spit-fired) and the whodunit factor keeps you afloat at least until the 90-minute mark.

Bottom line: A Simple Favor is a weird spin, a manipulative noir in broad daylight, and a voyeuristic look at mommy-and-me ilk (you can even add cutesy vlogging as well). I liked it just enough. Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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