Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

MOVIE REVIEW: A Simple Favor is a silly but fun and sparkling murder mystery

Published on

Vicky Sparks

What do you get when you mix a PTA-leading mommy vlogger (that’s video blogger for those who don’t know) and a gin-guzzling fashionista with a caustic tongue in a murder mystery?

Something similar to Gone Girl, or The Girl on the Train, if they were funny, or at least fizzy.

At first glance that doesn’t sound great, and I’m not sure this film ever reaches greatness. But it gets to silly, over-the-top, ridiculous fun and that’s not bad.

Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) is a single, widowed mom raising her son in the tightly controlled, 100% organic way that every helicopter mom dreams of.

Emily (Blake Lively) is a married, working mom who almost always remembers she has a son. When the two boys become fast friends, the moms follow.

While it seems obvious that of the two Emily would encourage Stephanie to lighten up and push her boundaries, Stephanie surprises when she reveals she’s got some secrets scandalous enough to make even Emily blush.

When Emily goes missing, suspicion is cast onto her once-brilliant author husband, the dazzlingly handsome and charming Sean (played by Crazy Rich Asian’s Henry Golding). But that doesn’t sit right with bff Stephanie.

So she crowd-sources the investigation to her vlog viewers and soon she’s playing private eye, piecing together their clues, desperate to find her long-lost friend.

There are twists and turns, on top of twists and turns, and then more twists and more turns until you find yourself about to scream, “Oh for the love of Pete! None of this would happen!”

But then you realize the film isn’t trying to convince you any of it could happen in real life. It takes place in a world where mothers wear open, unbuttoned blazers with literally nothing underneath them to the park to pick up their young children and their breasts never fall out – the film is a fairy tale of nonsense!

It features lead actresses technically old enough to be mothers but that happen to look so young it challenges the plot. And an extended section is secretly a commercial for Ryan Reynold’s new gin (Aviation Gin).

Despite its faults, A Simple Favor is a stylish, dark and sparkling fairy tale of nonsense that never makes the mistake of taking itself seriously for even a second

Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia


More like this