Movie Review: A Simple Favor

By: Olivia Bernstein


This past weekend was a treat for me to go the movies and relax in the new AMC theater built in the Clearfork area. For those of you who are not familiar with the Fort Worth area, this new theater has a dine-in feature, as well as heated seats at every chair; I would definitely say these additions significantly enhanced the overall experience.

The new movie, A Simple Favor, directed by Paul Feig, starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, completely exceeded my expectations. Well, to be quite honest, I actually went into the movie with almost no expectations.  The film’s trailer was extremely vague and therefore, I had no clue as to what the film was even remotely about. However, the slight presumptions I did have about the film were most definitely blown out of the park.

It is hard to give a synopsis of what the film is about without giving away too much information about it.  However, the point of the movie was to make sure every audience member was completely shocked by the twist that almost no one could possibly see coming (at least I didn’t).  Basically, Anna Kendrick’s character, Stephanie, becomes friends with the Mysterious character, Emily, played by Blake Lively and then the plot sort of goes south from there. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes on the role of detective as she figures out the clues and ultimately pieces them together in the end.

Not only was the movie unexpected, but the general tone of the film was not what I anticipated it to be like either.  The dark humor throughout the film, with major props to the acting behind the scripted lines, added to the mystery and suspense in almost a wicked and ironic way. The movie is rated R and for some reason, I was anticipating that the film would be more of a horror movie.  While there were definitely some graphic scenes, and the director’s intentions were clearly to build the suspense throughout, I felt as though the movie presented more of a comedic feel. I think that having the contrast of humor, as well as suspense, made the film that much more intricate.

Overall, I was thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film.  The advertisements for the film on a variety of social media platforms were very efficient, making me want to go see it and learn more about the heightened complexity behind it.  I went into the theater with the mindset that the film was probably not going to be an Oscar winner, but honestly, it was unlike any other film I have ever seen before.  The uniqueness of the genre definitely made the film stand out in a positive way. I may be biased because I am a major fan of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, but I was also pleased by the acting and thought that they really portrayed their specific characters in an effective way; they both held true to the role they were required to play.

Any film that can make me scared and laugh at the same time has done something right. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anyone who is trying to experience a genre that is different from anything they’ve seen before. A Simple Favor exceeded the little expectations that I had and is a film that I would definitely see time and time again.