“A Simple Favor”: A powerhouse cast, provocative plot


A screenshot from “A Simple Favor” trailer (Alex Pigeon/Amherst Wire)

Paul Feig must have known he was creating history when he cast movie stars Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as co-stars in his newest film adaptation of Darcy Bell’s book “A Simple Favor.” Two of the most prominent actresses in the industry give an awe-inspiring performance in their new mystery thriller.

In the film, single mother Stephanie Smothers (Kendrick) tries uncovering the many secrets following her best friend Emily Nelson’s (Lively) disappearance. Through her wild search, Stephanie discovers more than she had anticipated, questioning everyone that was involved in Emily’s life.

This film strikes suspense, thrill and laughter with incredible twists and turns that keep the audience members on the edge of their seats the entire time. Screenplay writer Jessica Sharzer managed to create a somber yet witty dialogue filled with sarcastic one-liners. The moody, acapella-singing Kendrick that movie lovers know best was nowhere to be found in the new innocent, bubbly and semi-awkward Stephanie Smothers. Although Lively played yet another beautiful, mysterious woman, she did so to near perfection.

What completed this cast isn’t just the two powerhouse women though, but the charming Henry Golding as husband Sean Townsend and the talented young boys Ian Ho and Joshua Satine as sons Nicky Nelson and Miles Smothers. While Golding’s performance is perfected with his ability to form an honest yet untrustworthy character, the boys managed to play two convincing sons wrapped up in a psychotic murder chase at just grade-school ages.  

Aside from impeccable casting, Feig himself went above and beyond as a director. He managed to design a provocative plot lined with grace and elegance. From luxury and wealth to innocence and suburbia, the film switches smoothly from scenes of wide-eyed Stephanie cooking on her blog for moms, to Emily pulling out guns from a trench coat while reminiscing on her sadistic childhood, creating countless dark turns that have viewers scrambling to find an answer. Although the dramatics can seem far-fetched and drawn out at times, the ending unravels with poise.

True to its label, “A Simple Favor” is crowded with crime, drama and mystery. It is everything you should expect, and everything you could never guess.

Email Kacey at [email protected].


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