Film Review – A Simple Favour

A Simple Favour (M)

Directed by: Paul Feig

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding

Four and a half stars

Review by Julian Wright


Anyone that has done a favour for a mate knows there is no such thing as a simple one – but Anna Kendrick finds out the hard way in A Simple Favour.

Sweet-as-pie single mum and vlogger Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) befriends rich PR manager and day drinker Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) during pick up time at their kids’ school.

They are polar opposites, but throughout the subsequent couple weeks, the two women hang out in Emily’s lavish home, drink, gossip, share secrets and quickly become best friends.

One day, Emily asks Stephanie to pick up her child from school because she has to work late – not an unusual ask, she has done it before, but this time Emily never comes to pick him up.

While Stephanie tries to track down her best friend, she discovers Emily harbored more secrets than she let on.

A Simple Favour is a genre defying throwback to erotic thriller potboilers from the 1990s (you know the ones, they offered some cheap thrills and usually served as a vehicle for a rising star actress) but elevated by its satirical edge that gives it a touch of class and wit.


The twist is that this film heavily focuses on laughs over thrills and chills; it sets up an intriguing mystery, and you can never tell where it is heading, but all the while, making the audience laugh with one-liners, visual gags and self awareness.

It is a breathtaking handling of tonal shifts by director Paul Feig, who explores darker territory without losing his sense of humour and oozing style.

Feig is clearly having a ball here, playing with so many delicious details – the umbrella rolling across the frame in a storm like a tumbleweed when the two leads meet is gold.

Kendrick plays to type – goofy, awkward but super likeable, but Lively is against type as the mysterious ice-queen (though still equally likeable) and together they are a match made in fashion heaven, their costumes as jaw-droppingly classy as their performances.

Do yourself a huge favour and see one of the year’s nicest surprises A Simple Favour.

Watch the trailer here.

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