6.9/10
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481 user 234 critic

A Simple Favor (2018)

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Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.

Director:

Paul Feig

Writers:

Jessica Sharzer (screenplay by), Darcey Bell (based upon the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
29 ( 8)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Kendrick ... Stephanie Smothers
Ian Ho ... Nicky Nelson
Joshua Satine ... Miles Smothers
Glenda Braganza ... Mrs. Kerry
Andrew Rannells ... Darren
Kelly McCormack ... Stacy
Aparna Nancherla ... Sona
Jiah Mavji Jiah Mavji ... Sona's Daughter
Ava LaFramboise Ava LaFramboise ... Lulu
Blake Lively ... Emily Nelson
Henry Golding ... Sean Townsend
Dustin Milligan ... Chris
Danielle Bourgon ... Grace (Stephanie's Mom)
Gia Sandhu ... Valerie
Lila Yee Lila Yee ... Margaret (Sean's Mom)
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Storyline

Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a widowed single mother who runs a blog with crafts and recipes. Emily (Blake Lively) is a busy working mother, a PR director for a fashion company, whose son Nicky attends the same elementary school as Stephanie's son, Miles. Emily and Stephanie become fast friends, arranging play dates for the boys. They trade confessions, and Stephanie admits that as a teenager, she had sex with her half-brother, Chris. Emily expresses her frustration at the lack of success of her husband, English professor Sean Townsend, and their poor financial situation. Emily has a work crisis and asks Stephanie to babysit Nicky, as Sean is in London. After two days of Emily not responding to calls, Stephanie calls Emily's employer, Dennis Nylon, and he tells her she is in Miami. Stephanie calls Sean, who calls the police. Emily had told both Stephanie and Sean that she hates having her picture taken, leading Stephanie to sneak into Emily's work and find a photo, which she ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We all have secrets to hide. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and language throughout, some graphic nude images, drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Simple Favor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,050,000, 14 September 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$53,542,417, 20 November 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessie Henderson enjoyed all the dimensions that Anna Kendrick brought to the character of Stephanie. "She has all these amazing micro-expressions that can say so much. She's so warm that you gravitate towards her, but she carefully reveals Stephanie's inner cracks in a way that is at once nuanced and thrilling." See more »

Goofs

When Emily and Stephanie meet for the first time in Emily's house, as Emily removes the fabric cuffs from her wrists, she removes the cuff on her right wrist twice. See more »

Quotes

Stephanie: You don't want to be unable to be in Nicky's life
Emily: [snaps a pistol on her] Well You certainly won't be
See more »


Soundtracks

Under My Skin
Written by Claudia Glynn and Michael Lister
Performed by Claudia Kane
Courtesy of Splangsongs
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lot better than expected
17 September 2018 | by jwwalrath-227-85487See all my reviews

I wasn't initially going to see this. I'd been let down by similar neonoir mystery dramas before. (Felt Gone Girl was just okay and Girl on a Train was disappointing.) Then I heard the positive reviews and changed my mind. I'm glad I did.

Director Paul Feig took the story from what appears to be a more serious book with very mixed reviews on Amazon and added humor and a bit of fun to the proceedings. The dark parts are appropriately lurid, but this isn't a dire slog. Witty dialogue and a game cast alleviate the proceedings.

Although Blake Lively does a great job as the mysterious woman who goes missing (and hats off to whoever designed her clothes, they are fantastic), this is Anna Kendricks' film. As the slightly oddball, mommy vlogger Stephanie Smothers, Kendricks has the part nailed down a both physically and verbally as she quirkily deals with people.

There are a couple flaws. The switch between drama and humor is a little jarring a in a few spots. The second act drags a little, and a few character decisions in the third act were rushed a bit.

Overall, I'd recommend this.


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