By Mary Cox


“A Simple Favor” is anything but simple. Academy Award Nominee Anna Kendrick of “Pitch Perfect” fame stars as Stephanie, a hyperactive widow who has her fingers in every pot at her son’s school and she has an internet blog where she cooks a new recipe daily. The other parents at the school find her behavior irritating and make fun of Stephanie. When wealthy sophisticated Emily, (Blake Lively), befriends Stephanie, Stephanie is so grateful that she allows Emily to use her by asking daily “for a simple favor.” The favor was taking Emily’s son home with Stephanie for a play date with her son.

After several months of play dates, Emily disappears for four days, leaving her son at Stephanie’s. Stephanie starts searching for Emily and seeks to uncover the truth about her disappearance.

Henry Goulding plays Emily’s husband, Sean who is sometimes a victim and sometimes a suspect in Emily’s disappearance. Goulding recently starred in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

All three stars are excellent but Anna Kendrick really made this film for me. Her character Stephanie, who is so needy in the beginning, slowly changes over the length of the film and seems to grow as a person.

“A Simple Favor” has more twists and turns than an English maze. The film will keep you on the edge of your seat. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the film would do a 180 degree turn. All three stars are amazing. At various times they had me loving them then hating them.

The script by Jessica Sharzer is based on the book by Darcey Bell is brilliant. Paul Feig directs. The script is brilliant.

The costumes are perfect. Stephanie who is short and petite wears simple cutesy kind of clothing while tall slender Emily is dressed in very expensive, sophisticated, tailored suits. The contrast in their costumes immediately illustrates the contrast in the women’s personalities as soon as you see them together.

The score is beautiful. Although the tunes are recognizable, the words to all the songs were in French. I never figured out why but I liked it.

I am not sure whether to classify this film as a comedy, a drama, a mystery, or a thriller so I will call it all of the above but I really enjoyed the movie.

“A Simple Favor” is showing at AMC Eastgate Showplace 6, AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12 and Granite City Cinema.

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