25 September 2023

A Simple Favour

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Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Paul Feig, Lionsgate, MA 117 Minutes.

This enthralling murder mystery from director Paul Feig is quite a departure for him after making the successful crime comedy spoof ‘Spy’ released in 2015.

The story essentially revolves around two women – Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick –‘The Accountant’), a school mum and Emily Nelson (Blake Lively –‘The Shallows’), a busy fashion designer who one day asks Stephanie for a favour by collecting her son Nicky from school.

Despite Emily thanking Stephanie with many martini drinks etc. at her lavish home, it soon turns into a regular practice until the time comes for Emily to collect Nicky from Stephanie’s home – only to find that Emily has disappeared.

Stephanie, for her part, did have a great deal of admiration for Emily but is now forced to make contact with her husband Sean (Henry Golding –‘Crazy Rich Asians’) after he has called in the police.

As the search continues, Emily’s body suddenly turns up in a nearby lake and is the start of a closer personal relationship between Stephanie and Sean causing the police to suspect Emily’s husband of her murder.

As the plot thickens Emily unexpectedly reappears to find Stephanie has moved into her home with Sean just as Stephanie has completed her own investigation of Emily’s past family background uncovering some fascinating facts about her troubled childhood.

In the end Stephanie realises how little she really knew about her relationship with Emily who she once called her “best friend”.

Feig’s adaptation of the Darcey Bell novel is both gripping as it is intriguing, bringing to the fore the enjoyable performances of both Kendrick and Lively in a storyline filled with many twists and turns.

The movie’s main message is being careful about doing anyone any favours.

Vic’s Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

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