A Simple Favor is quite captivating and full of mayhem and psychosis.
Blake Lively (Emily) and Anna Kendrick (Stephanie) are well cast as they settle into their expected personas: the latter is cute, predictable, and endearing; the former gorgeous, and captivating. Stephanie is the seemingly perfect single mom who can’t stop volunteering, but when she offers to be Emily’s friend and occasional sitter for her young boy, Stephanie gets more than what she bargained for. Her innocence turns stealthy spy as she goes on the hunt for her missing friend, Emily, finding a surprise around every corner.
True to form, just when I thought I had Stephanie figured out, I was thrown for a loop; Emily is jarringly confrontational as these two navigate an unlikely friendship that leads to the unveiling of secrets that change both their lives forever. The inner workings of their relationships, which include Emily’s husband Sean (Golding), is where most of the R rating lies via swearing, sex, drug use, alcohol consumption and violence.
This film is many things at once, which satisfies a lot of sensibilities: It is funny, scary, fantastical, and relevant, and it is not for the faint of heart. It includes present-day social media with a stylish spy genre, and the often-French soundtrack matches its high fashion yet vintage feel. Director Paul Feig does an excellent job of inserting humor in unlikely places, and using flashbacks from several points of view to keep us guessing “whodunit.”
Due to extreme sexual content, vulgar language, and violence, A Simple Favor is not Dove Approved.
The Dove Take
The movie is engaging, an intriguing and suspense-filled couple of hours for adults not offended by risqué subject matter and crude language.