You’d be hard-pushed to call A Simple Favour a good film, but it’s a pretty entertaining one. The fatal flaw in Paul Feig’s comedy-thriller is its wildly uneven tone. Feig is aiming for a black comedy vibe (I’m guessing something like Heathers is the target) but this Anna Kendrick/Blake Lively pic simply doesn’t know if it wants to be a comedy or a thriller. In the end, it’s neither. It’s a little too silly for a thriller and not particularly funny for a comedy.
Kendrick is Stephanie, a single mother vlogger who befriends fellow mother Emily (Lively), a high powered PR executive in the school yard. They share chats and drinks, becoming good friends until Emily goes missing under mysterious circumstances. Stephanie goes searching for her friend, discovering more about her than she ever knew and bedding her husband (Henry Golding) in the process,
Kendrick and Livley give it their all, both trying to keep-up with the film’s whiplash-inducing tone. I will hand it to Feig, cinematographer John Schwartzman and costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus – they’ve composed a stylish movie. However it’s style over substance and the plot’s many twists and turns are hardly revolutionary (I’m not sure if that’s screenwriter Jessica Sharzer or Darcey Bell’s source material) and you’ll see many of surprises coming far in advance.
You can’t hate A Simple Favour, but ultimately, there’s not a whole lot going on other than the opportunity to check out Kendrick and Lively’s many colourful costume changes.
The film might be so-so but A Simple Favour comes jam-packed with special features. You get three commentaries (one with Paul Feig, one with Feig and Livley, Kendrick and other cast members and another with Feig and the behind-the-scenes talent. You also get documentaries, deleted scenes, an alternte ending and more. Stunning!