“A Simple Favor” is simply suspenseful
Originally a novel written by Harper Bell, “A Simple Favor” is the story of two women who form an unlikely and more than dysfunctional friendship. Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is a mom, blogger and widow who will go to the ends of the earth to take care of her son. Her vlog consists of craft tutorials, instructions on making the perfect brownies and essentially a guide on how to be the parent that everyone wants to be. Although she only has a few followers, when her best friend Emily (Blake Lively) goes missing, she starts to attract an audience.
Emily’s son attends the same school as Stephanie’s son, but their parenting styles could not be any different. In comparison to Stephanie’s small, reserved and timid persona, Emily is tall, blonde and head of public relations for a fashion designer. Although she takes care of her son, it is clear that she is not as heavily committed to being the perfect mother that Stephanie strives to be.
When Emily steps out of her Porsche wearing one of her many fabulous pantsuits, you just cannot help but be mesmerized by her. Soon enough, their sons decide they want to have a play date, and Emily invites Stephanie into her beautiful home. On the outside, her life seems perfect, but of course nothing is what it seems.
While the boys are playing in the park one day, Stephanie (who is of course in charge of taking pictures for the yearbook) takes a picture of Emily. Emily immediately causes a scene and forces her to delete it. Even after this strange encounter, the two form a close bond over afternoon martinis and twisted secrets. When Stephanie calls Emily and asks her to do the simple favor of picking up her son from school, she never returns.
After watching multiple vague trailers for this movie, I didn’t really know what I was walking into. I expected the movie to have a “Gone Girl” vibe. Although it was not as dark, it was definitely just as twisted. In fact, if you asked me to compare it to something else, I really would not know what to tell you. It was honestly different from any suspenseful movie that I had seen before. Just when you thought you were catching on, there was another twist that had you as thrown off as the one before. In one scene, something terrible happens and the next something so bizarre occurs that you really cannot help but laugh.
In many cases, suspenseful movies leave you waiting for the next thing to happen, which can make everything else seem pointless or boring. “A Simple Favor” makes sure to deliver new surprises that you just were not expecting, makes you want to keep watching. With a “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “A Simple Favor” is funny, twisted and a must-see movie.
Marisa Butler, a junior, studies Organizational Communications. She is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.