A Simple Favor – Review Haiku

Written by Jessica Sharzer
Directed by Paul Feig

SYNOPSIS

A single vlogging mom befriends a high fashion PR rep and sets out to investigate the truth when her new friend vanishes

HAIKU REVIEW

Opposites Attract;
Deceptive Entertainment;
Wicked And Clever.

GRADE: B

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

I’m just as surprised at Paul Feig directing this as anyone else. What doesn’t surprise me is how wildly entertaining it was, balancing it’s dark humor with a few genuinely shocking moments. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively have an absurd amount of chemistry as two people who couldn’t be further apart from each other on the polar opposites scale. Stephanie (Kendrick) is a mommy vlogger with more YouTube followers than friends, and its unclear how many of those followers are mocking her while giving her views. She is nice to a fault, socially awkward, and the definition of a good mom, even if she is a helicopter trapped in a human’s body. Emily (Lively), on the other hand, likes day drinking, fashion, and being a horrible person. That’s not an editor’s comment, she openly admits it. She befriends the vlogger as a way of getting free child care so she can get back to her selfish and secretive ways, and her new pal is too blind to see it. Or is she? The script reveals itself little by little, giving weight to Stephanie’s words when she says “everybody has a dark side” and proving that everyone knows more than they are letting on. It’s been said that the movie thinks it’s more clever than it is, and while that has merit, it still deserves to be seen as much more than a cheap version of Gone Girl, regardless of their similarities. It gets downright ridiculous at times, but does so with a nudge a wink, as if it is totally in on the fun along with the audience. It’s an extremely watchable modern noir with some hilariously light moments to cut through the darkness. It wears its Hitchcockian stylings on its sleeve, though it treats that subtlety like the Vermouth in one of Emily’s extra strong noon martinis: something to be swishes around before being carelessly tossed to the floor. And don’t you fucking dare grab that washcloth to clean it up.

This is definitely worth your time in the theater, especially with heavier Oscar fare looming around the corner.


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