Movie Review: A Simple Favor (SPOILERS)

By Keerthana Manoj

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Having seen A Simple Favor advertised on practically every YouTube video I watched last month, I was really curious to check it out. I wasn’t alone — the star-studded cast (Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding) definitely garnered a lot of attention among my peers. From the trailers, I had the impression that the movie was going to be a gritty, hair-raising drama. Sadly, I was incorrect.

Don’t get me wrong — I was definitely captivated during the first half or so of the movie. There was just enough exposition to draw in the viewer without being overbearing, and each of the characters were really well set-up. Blake Lively’s performance as Emily in particular was effortlessly charismatic. I was genuinely on the edge of my seat as Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) and Sean (Henry Golding) grappled to find out why Emily disappeared. Everything was great until Emily’s whereabouts were revealed.

Once Emily came out of hiding, the intrigue that was meticulously set up in the beginning of the film was effectively dissolved. The whole explanation behind her secret twin and reasons for running away felt anticlimactic, like wasted potential. It didn’t help that Emily’s motives were murky and that there was a radical plot twist every five minutes, leaving me very disoriented and confused.

There is also the issue of the movie’s dramatic tonal shifts. A Simple Favor seems to have an identity crisis, sporadically fluctuating between a light-hearted comedy and a dark thriller. I appreciate the ambition of trying to cater to both genres, but the end product just felt too busy. I think the writers should have fully embraced the mystery plot line, as that was the most compelling aspect of the movie for me.

I had a few other qualms with the movie, including its redundant use of provocative flashbacks, but I do understand that the director was trying to capitalize on the good-looking cast.

But despite my complaints, I would say that A Simple Favor is definitely worth a watch. Maybe not for the intended reasons, but the sheer absurdity of its plot, though confusing, is quite enjoyable. A Simple Favor may not be the film of the century, but it makes for interesting and engaging conversation and that’s what really matters.

My Unofficial Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️