HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Simple Favor, A Mix Her A MurderBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Paul Feig
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart, Rupert Friend, Eric Johnson, Dustin Milligan, Bashir Salahuddin, Joshua Satine, Ian Ho, Kelly McCormack, Aparna Nancherla, Gia Sandhu, Nicole Peters, Lauren Peters
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is currently sad, because her new best friend Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) has been missing for the past few days, and as there is no trace of her, no clue as to her whereabouts, Stephanie has to assume the worst. She is a food blogger who uses her experience as a single mother since her husband died to channel into her recipes which she presents to thousands of eager fans online. But while she is happy in this, and good with kids, she doesn't really have any adult friends, so Emily had been a godsend to her, even if she began to wonder if she was being used by her as a stand-in nanny without needing to pay her. Emily wouldn't do that!

Or would she? Almost immediately alarm bells started to ring in the minds of the audience the second Emily appeared, in silhouette, before Stephanie who was dazzled by her forthright personality, yet while loneliness was a secondary theme to A Simple Favor, it was more driven by the ins and outs of female rivalry. It seemed there was plenty of entertainment around this time which pitted women against one another, it didn't matter if they liked each other, but life had become a competition if you were female, and that meant chasing after the same man, or the same job, or the same friends, it could be anything to bring out the competitive side in any number of them.

Whether this was reflective of life for girls and women in the twenty-first century was a moot point, though seeing it presented to them as the norm couldn't have done much for the notion of sisterhood that the sexual equality movement was propagating when trying to erase harassment in modern society. At least director Paul Feig was giving two leading ladies strong roles to play, ones who didn't have to be Little Miss Perfect but gave them something to get their teeth into, as both did with enough élan to make this compelling, though making their characters rivals, the innocent Stephanie against the worldly, cutting Emily, cancelled out a more fruitful course of the narrative.

Imagine if they had teamed up, for instance: there's a scene in flashback which suggests there was a sexual attraction between them, but what if that had gone further than a little light shipping? It was deflating that while the premise was solid, it went in such conventional directions, especially as the grounding the two main characters had was anything but. That opening half hour opened all sorts of interesting potential, but in the main they felt they had to follow the basic plot of the source novel by Darcey Bell, which on this evidence had been dreamt up after a close reading of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, the blockbuster this movie most resembled. Considering that had been a substantial hit on the page as well as in the cinema, this was not a bad way to go, but it did leave A Simple Favor feeling derivative.

But, oh, that first half hour, where the wit crackled and the offbeat interactions abounded, so promising that the rather pat outcome with life insurance scams and evil twins couldn't help but be a letdown. It was a film that started at the top of a metaphorical ski slope, but instead of picking up speed as Stephanie went down it, she began well but then weirdly slowed and once she got to the end of the ramp she simply toppled off into the snow, her momentum gone. Yet it was never a total dead loss thanks to Kendrick and Lively, imbuing their readings with that dreaded word "quirky" though never so much that they turned you off, as you remained wishing to find out how their relationship resolved itself. In support there was plenty of talent, from Henry Golding as Emily's writer husband who may be more of a patsy than he realises, to smaller roles like the school moms who are too cool to do anything like be genuine with Stephanie, but make us laugh anyway. It was a film in search of a better story: everything else was in place. Music by Theodore Shapiro (plus lots of sixties chansons).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 301 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: