A Simple Favor is fun, funny, sexy, beautiful, surprisingly dark, and full of delightful performances. Paul Feig directed this romp through the suburban wilds of motherhood.
Anna Kendrick is Stephanie. She’s the widowed mom of Miles (Joshua Satine). She is surviving off her husband’s life insurance and income from her mommy vlog. She appears to be the typical uptight, straight-arrow mom who gets her clothes at Gap.
Blake Lively is Emily. She’s Nicky’s (Ian Ho) mom. She’s gorgeous beyond anything wandering in suburbia. She wears men’s suits. Anyone who even looks at her is awestruck. Her wardrobe and the way she struts in it will make you drool.
When Emily meets Stephanie outside their boys’ school, she invites her over and they get drunk on martinis. Emily lives in a fantastic house but claims she and her husband Sean (Henry Golding) are broke.
By the time Emily and Stephanie’s first meeting together is over, they’ve declared themselves best friends. Emily’s husband Sean comes home and Stephanie watches them smooch hello endlessly. It doesn’t matter, Stephanie is smitten.
One day Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favor – to watch Nicky after school because she’s slammed at her job in the city. When she doesn’t return, Stephanie reaches out to Sean. He’s in London.
Three days pass before Sean is back and still no Emily. The police are called. A scene stealing detective (Bashir Salahuddin) starts asking questions.
They find Emily in a lake in Michigan. There’s a funeral.
Sean and Stephanie are screwing by the night of the funeral and she moves into Emily’s posh home. They await delivery of $4 million in life insurance.
But things don’t add up. Stephanie talks about it on her vlog, which goes viral. People all over the country are involved in Emily’s story. Things get strange and then they get stranger. Stephanie investigates.
The twists and turns of this mystery are delightful. It’s bright and cheery looking while the darkest of deeds take place. The sound track is 60s French pop songs. Bits from Rupert Friend, Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart, and Andrew Rannells are clever and over the top. A Simple Favor somehow manages to be both serious and satirical at the same time.
The screenplay was written by Jessica Sharzer from a novel by Darcey Bell. (paid link) I want to read the novel. I already watched the movie twice. (I was looking for Easter eggs in every episode of Stephanie’s vlog the second time through. I saw some Easter eggs, but no Easter eggs.)
Everything about this movie was a treat. The ending was bonkers. I even enjoyed watching the credits at the end.
You can see A Simple Favor on Prime Video and several other streamers.
Check out the poster
Watch the Trailer for A Simple Favor
Have you seen this one yet? Did you enjoy it?
2 responses to “Review: A Simple Favor”
this was a fun film. i didnt see the twist coming. i havent watched it again but will, to see what i missed first time through
I wish I knew more about Gossip Girl and Pitch Perfect and some of the other work connected to these folks so I could spot the Easter eggs in Stephanie’s vlog posts. Let me know if you catch any.