A Simple Favor

First Hit: I enjoyed this quirky, twist filled, film.

Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) is a widowed mother of one young boy named Miles (Joshua Satine). His best friend at school is Nicky Nelson (Ian Ho) whose mother is Emily (Blake Lively) a high powered marketing person and his father is Sean Townsend (Henry Golding) a one novel writer.

Stephanie has a video blog which she dedicates, each filming to her deceased mother. Each vlog has useful household tips, cooking tips, or advice for dealing with the world. However, she’s got a secret.

One day she helps Emily out by watching her child and Emily doesn’t come back. This leads the film back a few weeks, into how Emily and Stephanie met, how they learned about each other, and how they became best friends. One of the secrets is that, although Emily and Sean work, they really cannot afford the house they are living in and they desperately need money.

This leads to a crazy plot that includes death, false identity, and Stephanie’s ability to sort-out and resolve pieces of the puzzle.

When it comes down to who knows what and who can better deliver the goods, Stephanie, Emily, and Sean have their own ways to settle the score.

The dialogue between Lively and Kendrick was funny, pointed and filled with sarcasm. There are plot holes, and things that don’t quite add-up, but from an entertainment value, this film was fun.

Kendrick was strong in this leading role. I believe this is the first film in which she was expected to carry the main work-load and she does it well. Lively was a hoot as this know-it-all, seen the world, been there done that kind of high powered marketing person. She clearly enjoyed the role. Golding was good as Blake’s hangdog husband. I never really got the connection that made it work for them, except that Lively’s character was so strong, he was under her spell. Jessica Sharzer wrote a pointed and rapid fire script which kept the movie moving along nicely. Paul Feig did a good job of keeping it both light and funny as well as dramatic with mystery.

Overall: I enjoyed the dynamics of the two women characters and how Kendrick used her analytical plodding way to uncover the truth.