By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton
Is it a mystery? Is it a comedy? Or is it both? The new Blake Lively film A Simple Favor is more than what it appears to be in the trailers. In all of their promos and previews, the film is sold as a murder mystery with Anna Kendrick being her awkward self. It’s safe to assume that this was where the comedy was going to come from.
But, Kendrick wasn’t the only one contributing to the comedy. Lively, Henry Golding, and other cast members were pretty much funny the entire time which is why I am deeming this a dark comedy.
When single, crafty mom Stephanie (Kendrick) meets the enigmatic Emily (Lively) through a play date, she becomes wrapped up in the drama and mystery of her disappearance. Emily’s character, being brash and self-centered, completely counters cautious Stephanie which makes for an interesting dynamic when Emily uses the words ‘fuck’ regularly in front of her kid and Stephanie feeds her child meatless Swedish meatballs.
Kendrick usually gives us the clumsy girl performance but in this she evolves from it and becomes the cunning Nancy Drew type (because we all know that Nancy Drew deserves more credit).
While Kendrick gave us the brains, Lively gave us the bitch. Not only a bitch, but stone cold and evil bitch. Her character takes what she wants and never apologizes (this was a huge point in the movie). It was reminiscent of her role in Derek Martini’s 2012 film Hick where she played a street smart grifter. These two roles are very different from the same old ones that she’s used to portraying in Gossip Girl, The Age of Adeline, and All I See Is You (characters with no real backbone).
All in all, it was refreshing to see these two actresses portray something a little different from themselves and see that A Simple Favor was able to surprise us all when seeing it for the first time.
My Rating: 93%