As an entity, as a film, A Simple Favor really does fascinate
Whatever A Simple Favor actually is (and that is not an easy question to answer), it is certainly not predictable. Designed and curated by long time comedy director Paul Feig, the film moves away from his roots and offers up a trashy yet compelling look at a parent friendship with a twist, in spite of holding onto some comedic base and leading with two thoroughly engaging actors completely selling the ridiculous story A Simple Favor tells.
Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is a single mother, desperate to prove how wonderful a mother she is. Taking up every opportunity her son’s school offers her, Stephanie is envied by the other parents as the idealistic woman. But, while holding the title of Number One Mum, her social life is non-existent, and a play date between her son Miles and his friend Nicky offers her a chance to make a brand new friend. Emily (Blake Lively) is the ideal woman, Stephanie’s polar opposite, and spending time together shows each of them how the other half live. That is, until, Emily goes missing, and Stephanie is sent into a wild spin offering her a truly brand new experience at life.
Everything about A Simple Favour screams cheap, weak and populist, but it’s winding and twisting story offers nothing but heaps of interest. It’s everything a film shouldn’t be, but somehow works, really well. Feig’s impressive history with successful titles obviously contains a key ingredient that brings out quality when it simply shouldn’t be there.
Kendrick and Lively offer excellent turns as incredibly exaggerated characters, occasionally supplying very different and disturbing themes. This seems to be a continuous characteristic of Feig’s films, with quirky and unabashed personas highlighting the plot; Yet A Simple Favor turns down the comedy and up the weirdness as it exposes the more bizarre elements of Feig’s work.
A Simple Favor is successful because of its differences and its quirks. The film is fully accepting of its strange and often alienating manner, and by embracing these differences, it becomes a fascinating watch. Even upon analysing it as a whole, it’s parts just fall apart, but as an entity, as a film, A Simple Favor really does fascinate.
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