A Simple Favor (2018)

A Simple Favor
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Jessica Sharzer
Based on: Darcey Bell’s novel
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Ian Ho, Joshua Satine, Rupert Friend, Linda Cardellini
Seen on: 3.3.2019

Content Note: bimisia

Plot:
Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) divides her time between her son Miles (Joshua Satine) and running her own parenting blog. When Miles befriends Nicky (Ian Ho), Stephanie approaches Nicky’s beautiful and rather intimidating mother Emily (Blake Lively). Much to her own surprise, Emily takes to Stephanie and the two become friends. But then Emily just disappears one day and Stephanie decides that she has to investigate.

A Simple Favor is obviously a film that tries to coast on Gone Girl‘s success, but is neither as insightful nor as well-constructed as that film. It is queerer, though, which I liked, and it looks really good. But it never gets to a level that is more than okay.

The film poster showing Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) holding a knife and Emily (Blake Lively) holding a drink.

I saw A Simple Favor on a plane, meaning that it was a “cleaned-up” version that cut quite a few bits of the dialogue to make it more family-friendly. I decided to watch it nevertheless because I already had an inkling that I wouldn’t love the film so much that I’d mind (but the film is just way too queer for me not to watch it at all). And my hunch was right.

The film isn’t bad and it’s very watchable. Especially Blake Lively in all those wonderful costumes she wears is a feast for the eyes, but generally, the film has very crisp look, a good cast and it is well-paced, so it never gets boring.

Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) talking to Emily (Blake Lively).

But the film also isn’t half as surprising and subversive as it thinks it is. Emily just isn’t as interesting as the film thinks and even though I liked it a lot that she was bi (especially because it meant that we got to see Linda Cardellini), the entire film plays right into the trope that bi people can’t be trusted, that there is something duplicitous about us. Fuck that noise is what I say to that. (Also, they should have made Stephanie explicitely bi as well, it’s not that fucking hard).

That being said, the film is entertaining enough and it made time pass nicely on the plane. But I’d rather watch Gone Girl again.

Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) sitting at Emily's kitchen bar as Emily (Blake Lively) hugs Sean (Henry Golding).

Summarizing: okay.

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