A Simple Favor Review - A Mind Bending Suburbian Psychological Thriller

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A Simple Favor, from Lionsgate and Feigco Entertainment, presents the story of secrets, lies, the buried past, truth, denial, manipulation, a sexy husband, two beautiful women, one sophisticated, powerful, one tenacious, a celebrity vlogger.

Directed by Paul Feig, A Simple Favor stars Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Harry Golding, Joshua Satine, Ian Ho, Rupert Friend, Jean Smart, Rosanno Scotto, Bashir Slahuddin, Andrew Rannells, Glenda Braganza, Kelly McCormack and Aparna Nancherla.

A Simple Favor begins with Mommy Vlogger, Stephanie Smothers, standing behind her perfect kitchen country home film set, addressing her wide audience explaining that her best friend, Emily, played by Blake Lively, has gone missing and how with each passing day the expectation of good news becomes less.


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Digressing back to the first day they met, as we hear Stephanie describe it their boys brought them together as each have a son, Miles, played by Joshua Satine, is Stephanie's son and Nicky, played by Ian Ho, is Emily's.

It was raining, and while waiting for Emily, Nicky and Miles were playing and demanding a play date, when this insanely tall, well dressed, sophisticated powerhouse pulls up in a Porsche, and with one red sole Christian Louboutin stiletto landing on the cement Stephanie was hooked.

By the end of the conversation, ultra-liberal Emily had convinced ultra conservative Stephanie to come over, let the kids have the play date and enjoy a martini, as it has to be cocktail hour somewhere.

A couple of martini's later, Emily decides it is time to treat Ms. Mommy Vlogger to a recipe that won't be seen on the mommy and me website. A few simple instructions and we all learn the secret to a traditional martini from the exclusive Dirty Martini in London.

Over the course of the week, Stephanie and Emily continue their girls martini club and as  the mommies are indulging the secrets are finally spilling. The secrets that prop up their seemingly perfect lives have remained silent until now.

Emily is bored with her husband, Sean, played by Harry Golding. When they met he was the hottest up and coming writer in Manhattan, a decade later in the suburbs the literati lights are deep in the rear view to her he is a loser. His talent is wasted and even with her PR skills she can't jump-start his dead career. 

His small private college professorial paycheck barely meets her clothing allowance. Fortunately she runs the PR for Dennis Nylon, played by Rupert friend, a Tom Ford type, with brands and break outs everywhere and who teeters between Madison Avenue and Bellevue.

Stephanie, a single mom, lost her husband in a car crash, and as we find out her half brother was also in the car and in one moment she lost the two most important men in her life. Her secrets, which she has hide well are finally seeing light.

One day Emily calls and asks Stephanie if she could pick up NickyAnd now five days later, Stephanie is using her vast social media network to help track down her friend.

With worried Moms everywhere helping their favorite vlogger, we find clues as to Emily's disappearance. Then tragedy.

What follows is a Hitchcockian crime thriller. With behavior that doesn't fit the pristine glass modern home, our mommy Vlogger goes to work reaching out to her vast network of stay at homes and finally they have new purpose. Sightings of Emily are being sent both Stephanie and Sean are hoping for better news.  

Even Nicky, surprises everyone with a message from the dead as he says he sees his mom at school. What would cause a mother to leave her son?

Of course with Emily out of the picture, and the marriage not exactly a fairy-tale romance, the ground is ripe for Stephanie to move up and into the big house. 


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 In the vein of Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, and more modern Body HeatA Simple Favor is truly a cat and mouse who done it. 

I was skeptical where the film was going and have to admit it holds onto the attention and rounding every corner there seems to be a new unexplained detail that suddenly becomes plausible.

Blake Lively is very talented. A Simple Favor is the first film I have seen her work and she is surprising. Besides all the aesthetics, she has depth. She can easily play beautiful evil.

The social media story line is genius and like in reality, viewers are dedicated to their "star." Anna Kendrick plays the ultra conservative effortlessly.

Henry Golding, from Crazy Rich Asians, plays husband/seducer with equal dedication. As the loosely constructed triangle begins to fall apart each become a suspect. It is murder? Suicide? A psychological mind game?

A Simple Favor leaves you guessing right down to the last minutes of the film. A modern mystery, with suspense, surprise, a fab house, sexy husband, and a killer closet.

A Simple Favor opens September 14, 2018. See it. You'll be surprised.


 

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