By: Lucy Bebbington
Director Paul Fieg proved once again that his winning formula for a successful ensemble cast will draw big wins in the domestic box office.
Following up from his previous mega-hits “Bridesmaids” and “Spy,” “A Simple Favor” gives insight to complicated family dynamics and the toxicity of long-held secrets.
The film delivers scene stealing performances from Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, as well as Henry Golding’s first acting credit post “Crazy Rich Asians.”
“A Simple Favor” sends viewers into a tailspin trying to follow Lively’s vivacious Emily Nelson, a public relations guru who favors 4 o’clock wine and designer outfits.
Providing a stark contrast to Nelson’s relaxed parenting style is Kendrick’s Stephanie Ward, a type-A mommy blogger raising her son as a single mother.
Soon, long-buried family secrets spring into the forefront when Nelson mysteriously vanishes, leaving her determined best friend Ward to pick up the pieces of Nelson’s broken family.
As viewers unearth the realities of Nelson’s troubled youth, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance become increasingly suspicious and with Ward on the case, everyone is a suspect.
A suspenseful turn leads Ward to question her own sanity when previously determined facts morph into fiction.
ERAU Senior Gianna Lorusso was swept into the film’s dramatic plot line, stating, “I walked out of the theater really wondering what happened; the last fifteen minutes were very suspenseful.”
Despite its enticing plot line and impeccable casting, “A Simple Favor” noticeably stumbles throughout the film, with its genre never fully clear to audiences.
Was it a dramatic comedy? A murder mystery? An argument could be made for it to be labeled a drama-thriller but in reality, the film is a melting pot of creative indecision.
Luckily, “A Simple Favor”’s A-list casting decisions and deliberately vague trailer have led to a strong box office result, with the initial $20 million budget already surpassed in ticket sales.
If you are interested in mysteries, mommy blogs, or manslaughter go check out “A Simple Favor” while it is still in theaters.
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