A Simple Favor (2018) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
490 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
A fine movie gets totally lost at the end
david-626-14806326 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked the film, the plot as well as the actors/the casting. The story develops well, and has both fun and exciting moments during the first three quarters of the film's length. But the film totally loses it at the end, in an ending that is completely implausible and chaotic. Unfortunately the problem with many Hollywood movies: how to get a good ending.

So I will only partially recommend this title.
47 out of 52 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Charming, funny and twisted!
saadgkhan15 September 2018
A Simple Favour - CATCH IT (B+) In recent times, its rare to watch two genres getting mushed into one and still work. A simple favour took the thriller genre and added comedy in a very subtle way. I believe the work works better because of perfect casting of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. Both girls nailed the part and their chemistry is palpable.

Its a perfect movie for a fun night out. The girls are amazing and movie is a complete fun to watch. Go See It!!!
132 out of 179 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Lot better than expected
jwwalrath-227-8548717 September 2018
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.
121 out of 166 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
At least it was something different
tonyandaprilfrazier12 September 2018
It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen and all the actors play roles they are typically type cast for. It was surprisingly funny though and honestly kind of enjoyable although super far fetched. At least it wasn't the same old recycled trash we've all been seeing lately.
176 out of 247 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A fun twisted ride
Andreashairu18 September 2018
Don't think about it. Just grab your bff and go. Get lost in the twist and turns. Admire the clothes and characters. Enjoy the music and martinis. It's not like anything that's come this way before. Go go go!
107 out of 150 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Delightful dark comedy with great lead actresses
jeffreyhickman17 September 2018
My wife an I were pleasantly surprised by this gem. The two lead actresses did a great job. The first half of the movie kept you engaged. The second half dragged a bit but overall it was a very good film!
113 out of 161 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Was decent... until it wasn't
fabi-sp9228 November 2018
The movie was quite enjoyable for the longest time. Well paced, well acted (mostly). Then the conclusion happened. Like seriously what where they thinking.

Not only was it bad (I guess that's just an opinion, but still), it was also a lot worse written, paced and acted than the rest of the movie, up to the point where the only explanation is that the producers or SOMEONE wanted the ending changed to... this. The movie would have been a lot better if it just ended half an hour earlier. The ending is one of the worst I have seen in years.
49 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not Quite Comedy, Not Quite Thriller
Eric-Bednarowicz16 September 2018
This was a film that couldn't decide what it wanted to be. It wasn't quite thrilling, and it wasn't quite funny.
127 out of 183 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
an odd mixture of mystery and folly
ferguson-613 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. In the vein of Gillian Flynn/David Fincher's GONE GIRL and Paula Hawkins/Tate Taylor's THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN comes yet another vanishing woman mystery. This latest is based on Darcey Bell's novel (screenplay by Jessica Sharzer), only this time the biggest twist comes with the selection of Paul Feig as director. That's right, the director best known for BRIDESMAIDS and other comedies, tackles a 'whodunit and what did they do'.

Neurotic Mommy Vlogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is a widowed mother to a young son, and she's the overly perky and perfect mom that causes other parents to sneer and snark behind her back. She's also so desperate for human connection that she's willing to befriend Emily (Blake Lively), the martini-guzzling fashion industry executive who is a hands-off mother to Stephanie's son's friend. We soon learn that martinis and playdates shouldn't be mixed.

Stephanie and Emily share dark, personal secrets. Emily discusses the financial woes she and her husband Sean (Henry Golding, CRAZY RICH ASIANS) are experiencing, even though they live in an ultra-modern mansion. He had success with his first novel, but has been hit with writer's block since marrying Emily. Those secrets pale in comparison to what Stephanie unloads, leading Emily to anoint her with a crass (though quite accurate) label that no one would relish. Of course we later uncover Emily's truly dark (and deadly) secrets go far beyond possible late payments on the mortgage.

As the two ladies bond, we get the feeling that Emily is playing some type of game with the always-cheerful Stephanie, though to what end we aren't sure. One day, Stephanie does Emily a "favor" and then Emily disappears without a trace or word. The days pass and a sexual energy develops between Stephanie and Sean, while Stephanie users her Vlog as a tool in her amateur sleuthing.

It's tough enough to pull off a mystery, but a mystery-comedy is nearly the unicorn of cinema. Director Feig is at his best in the comedic moments - especially those featuring banter between Ms. Kendrick and Ms. Lively. Their scenes together are the highlights of the film ... well, those and the French pop soundtrack, including "Ca S'est Arrange" over an opening credit sequence that is itself, worthy of admission. The film is oddly structured, yet still entertaining. Act I is really a dark comedy and budding friendship between polar opposite personality types, while the rest is a messy mystery with some interesting elements.

Strong support work comes courtesy of Andrew Rannells, Aparla Nancherla, Kelly McCormack, and Jean Smart, though two standouts are Rupert Friend ("Homeland") as Emily's boss and a character seemingly straight out of ZOOLANDER, and Linda Cardellini ("Bloodlines") as an unhinged artist tied to Emily's past. The downside is that most of these scenes add to the comedy-sketch feel, which clashes so harshly with the mystery element that the sharp edge needed in the script becomes quite dulled.

Most every director dreams of being Hitchcockian, and that dream tends to push them towards this genre. Unfortunately, most end up disappointed, their films end up disappointing, and the genius and difficulty of what Hitchcock achieved is reinforced. It's clear Director Feig is a fan of the genre, as he includes nods to DIABOLIQE, GASLIGHT, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and even Nancy Drew. However, acknowledging classic noir isn't enough to qualify for the label. The film has its moments, Ms. Kendrick is once again stellar in her role, and most viewers will find it entertaining despite the messiness.
85 out of 124 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
No clue what kind of movie this thought it was.
zombieskeagan16 September 2018
Way too much comedy for me to take seriously as a thriller and way too convuluted of a plot for me appreciate as a drama. There was a time at the end when it keeps trying to pack twist on top of twist that I thought maybe it was trying to be a spoof of the recent suburb noir thrillers in the vein of Gone Girl but the movie didn't feel aware enough to me to play this angle. It just felt like they had a thriller they realized was boring so they spiced it up with a bunch of funny dialogue or they had a comedy they tried to make more serious for whatever reason. Neither played well. Although the cast is solid for the most part. I will watch Anna Kendrick stare at a wall for two hours and still wouldnt feel like I wasted my time.
195 out of 314 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
It's a beautiful stylish movie with outstanding performances!
coolkevinsmith12 September 2018
A Simple Favor is an amazing flim with a talented cast, Blake Lively was a stand-out for me and Anna Kendrick was perfect for the role as Stephanie. The clothing and style in the film are amazing. This film should be seen by people who liked thrillers and mysteries!
140 out of 223 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
A tonal mishmash. Imagine Gone Girl directed by Paul Feig, or better yet, don't.
DJKwa12 September 2018
First things first, A Simple Favour is not really a mystery film, well not a good one at least. As much as the marketing would have you believe, those looking for the next Gone Girl or The Girl on The Train will need to continue their search. The story here is far-fetched, overcooked and unravels in such a haste that it's hard to treat much of it seriously. Director Paul Feig (best known for his comedy works such as Bridesmaids and Spy), seemingly aware of the story's inherent ridiculousness, keeps the film light and easily digestible, but the result is a weird tonal hybrid of a comedy-mystery that fails at being either. Think Game Night, but more obnoxious than funny.

Based on the novel by Darcey Bell, A Simple Favour follows Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a widowed, single mum who runs a mommy blog. Her goody two-shoes personality makes her pariah amongst the other parents. One day, on a playdate for their children, she befriends Emily (Blake Lively), a chic, elegant woman whose everything she is not. Before long they become best friends, and when Emily disappears, Stephanie steps out of her shell to solve the mystery.

Anna Kendrick stars in a role perfectly attuned to her goofy charms and Blake Lively convincingly embodies the enigmatic nature of her character in a crucial supporting role. Henry Golding, hot off Crazy Rich Asians, gets the rough end of the deal playing Emily's husband, a character who, while not entirely likeable, is cruelly used and manipulated by the two female protagonists throughout the film. It's disheartening to see that the film's message of female empowerment often comes as a result of emasculating its primary male character. In fact, the film's regressive approach to bolstering its two strong female leads does the film a great disservice.

The only consistency between all the characters is that none of them are particularly likeable. They each make questionable decisions, are gratingly self-centered and become increasingly obnoxious as the film progresses with its dubious twists. By the end, you'll be hard pressed to care about any of them. This is no more evident than in the film's tacked on "where are they now?' postscript that feels completely unnecessary and ill informed in assuming audiences care enough about the characters to know where they end up.

On the upside, Feig, who is more proficient in making fun films rather than serious ones, keeps the film feeling light and easy-going. He knowingly teases the audience with a stylish soundtrack filled with classy French music, and there are some funny scenes that incite light chuckles rather than any laugh out loud bursts of humour. These meager positives don't improve the stillborn narrative but at least they make it a little less painful to digest.

Ultimately, A Simple Favour is a strange blend of mystery and comedy that doesn't gel into a cohesive whole. As a piece of entertainment, it's entirely disposable. As a thriller, well, imagine Gone Girl as directed by Paul Feig. Or better yet, don't.
188 out of 309 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Just do yourself a favor and don't..
machine-7312222 September 2018
The movie had somewhat of a decent storyline that kept you in a little bit of suspense but the middle of it just got completely stupid and turned out to be completely corny.
66 out of 106 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Quite simply trash
draganaa-o21 September 2018
I do love intellectually stimulating and good quality cinematic work, but I can always enjoy a simpler movie, something comedic probably - as long as it doesn't pretend to be something that it's just not. If this movie aimed to be a parody I'd take it, but alas the situation is to the contrary.. and it is utter mind-numbing-disappointing-garbage.
50 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
A Simple Movie
MikeC1918 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I was really looking forward to seeing this. I like some of Paul Feig's movies, and also Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, too. This, for me, was not a fun experience. The trailer and promotional material had this looking like a sleeker product than it really was. I found this movie boring, and could not connect with the characters. Anna Kendrick acted like a really silly woman throughout most of it, and Blake Lively's character was such a jerk. I didn't care what really happened, or the twists and turns. They just weren't impressive or interesting. I may have snickered at a few scenes, but this was a really, really lame movie, and I'm so disappointed in how it turned out.
59 out of 100 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Terrible
fascoyne22 September 2018
The trailer is the complete opposite to the movie, the trailer makes it seem like a dramatic crime when actually it's a cheesy comedy with poor acting
45 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Terrible movie!
tina-1887230 September 2018
Other than teenage girls, I am not sure what intellectual adult would like this ridiculous, cheesy, trashy movie. It's not funny, plot is ridiculous, and I'm baffled why it has a high rating. Don't waste your money on this garbage.
39 out of 66 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
All three of those stars are for Anna Kendrick's performance.
ttombailey2423 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
If Gone Girl had some poorly timed jokes, 3 twists too many (all of which you saw coming) and clunky dialogue...it would still be better than A Simple Favor.
45 out of 78 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Yeah, well! Not bad
chaouachiyoussef14 January 2019
Not bad but I was expecting better. If you have watched Gone girl, you will not be surprised with the chain of events and how the story ends. But if you have not watched gone girl, you will love it. Anna kendrick is amazing as usual.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Awsome
greatshahbazkhan12 January 2019
Loved the concept. Anna was amazing. Twisted till the end.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
One of the best movies of the year
fxnels28 January 2019
I truly don't understand how anyone could give this movie anything but a 10, it's incredibly smartly done, the acting is off the charts, it's funny, witty, suspenseful, twisty, awesome. Check it out, and please ignore the ignorantly bad reviews.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
A Simple Mistake
drewpkerr16 September 2018
A not-so-simple story was given quite the simple execution. What set out to be a promising thriller in the vain of Gone Girl, was decimated seconds after the rolling of the opening credits. You'd be forgiven for thinking that you were about to embark on an adventure down Wisteria lane, with an opening sequence a nod to a simpler time of the 70's in a contemporary setting; however scoot past that and there's no reference to this tone throughout the whole film (unless you count a cute Dior waisted frock Lively wears in the final scenes.) An added comic tone to the film does little to distract from the poor choice of casting with no notable performances. Kendrick's sweet nature does partially lend herself to the role of a widowed single mother, however I can't help but feel a more serious tone would have actually delivered a better comic relief. Lively's lunacy is melodramatic and doesn't pair back well with the rest of the cast - it would have been much more appropriate in Gossip Girl. Paul Feig's directorial choices seem odd given the genre. Inconsistent would best describe his choice of camera direction. Angular shots throughout, and rapid fire screen cuts in the penultimate scene were a distraction from the action occurring on screen. A use of long panning shots and slower cuts between shots would have given the film the suspense it deserves. The only redeeming feature of the film was an interesting plot, but it's a shame that ultimately we were left with a huge simple mistake making it to the screen.
33 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
A Simple-minded Farce
tigerfish5014 October 2018
The trailer for this mish-mash of a movie promises a sophisticated black comedy, but within 15 minutes all hope for that kind of experience is extinguished by the sit-com level antics of the two main characters. This opening act presents a nerdy suburban single mom befriended by a condescending femme fatale, who promptly disappears in suspicious circumstances. The unraveling of the mystery becomes increasingly ludicrous and unbelievable, with director Feig relying more and more on his comedy background rather than attempting to create tension. Unfortunately, as the dramatic potential dissolves into camp farce, all the comedic gambits also fall flat. After some formulaic twists and turns, both plot and characters have been revealed as soap opera material long before the story arrives at its slapstick climax.
27 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Movie of the year! I love a good twist! Amazing story with the perfect cast..
brandonmckay_lfc115 September 2018
This is the perfect movie if you know what you're getting into, a mystery/comedy. I'll keep this short & spoiler free but Blake Lively & Anna Kendrick have wonderful chemistry. The entire casting was perfect. Feig amazing again with his work. The story keeps you guessing the whole way & once you think you've figured it out, another twist happens. I've seen this multiple times & will be going again. I recommend you do the same.
78 out of 153 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
A total mess
skosatka-5415415 September 2018
I'lk keep this short: one of the worst films I have ever had to sit through. Predictable, derivitive, silly, pointless, contrived, lame, unoriginal. No surprises here, just silly, predictable plot twists that we see coming a half hour (or more) before the nonsense arrives. I expected more and, well, got less. I would expect this trite mess and tripe from an ambitious, but unoriginal second or third year film student. I imagine many will find this film entertaining, but for the discerning viewer, it will just rate a "meh" or similar. Not funn6, not believeagle with only a couple of (minor) redeeming characters. It is so predictable.
45 out of 84 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed