A deliciously acid dark comedy thriller, “A Simple Favour” pits beautiful and self-possessed Blake Lively against sweet but steely Anna Kendrick in a battle of the moms that takes a funny, then dark – very dark – turn.
Kendrick is Stephanie, a widowed stay at home mother who develops a major girl crush at the school gates when she meets another parent – Emily, a ruthless fashion PR who allies beauty, allure and an edge of danger.
Emily makes a spectacular entrance into the film and into Stephanie’s life, and in turn, Stephanie is drawn into Emily’s world – stunning home, dashing husband, exciting job. She is soon hosting playdates for their children, to the amusement of other parents who see the women’s relationship in a different light and Stephanie as a source of free childcare. So far, so innocuous. Everything changes one day when Emily suddenly disappears and Stephanie is left caring for her friend’s son.
“A Simple Favour” oscillates between comedy and near horror – a bit “Gone Girl”, a bit “Single White Female”, and a lot like Bedazzled – Lively becomes Peter Cook to Kendrick’s Dudley Moore. Director Paul Feig has a wonderful talent for evoking joyful anarchy and straddling the edge of transgression. Lively and Kendrick partner and joust brilliantly, and as so often in Feig’s films, the supporting cast add gleeful touches to the proceedings.
Henry Golding as Emily’s desirable husband, Rupert Friend in uncharacteristic mode as a fashion world diva, and Andrew Rannells as a snide acquaintance who comes good, are all a delight. And the soundtrack is yet another treat – French songs by Brigitte Bardot, Serge Gainsbourg and other icons – seemingly completely à propos nothing whatsoever, and yet just so right.
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and Henry Golding
Now streaming on Amazon.
Buy “A Simple Favour” here:
Listen to one of the tracks featured in the film: Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg sing Bonnie And Clyde.
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