Director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) delivers an entertaining comedy/mystery with A Simple Favor, based on the novel by Darcey Bell.
Anna Kendrick plays a lonely, dorky single mom who fights her loneliness by posting cooking/parenting videos online. Then she meets the glamorous mother (Blake Lively) of her son’s friend after school. The two form a mismatched friendship, even though other parents think Lively is just using Kendrick for free babysitting. But one day, Lively disappears, leaving both Kendrick and Lively’s husband (Henry Golding) to wonder what happened.
It’s usually not too difficult to tell where even good movies are going with their plots. What is refreshing about A Simple Favor is that it is hard to pinpoint exactly where it is headed. Yes, it’s clear that Lively is not all she seems, but the direction of the plot is uncertain enough to hold viewers’ attention.
The performances are good all around, but Lively stands out. Her character is unlikeable in many ways, yet her performance has enough humor and charisma to make viewers understand why Kendrick is attracted to her in the first place.
Like many mysteries and thrillers, the resolution of A Simple Favor is not as good as the build-up. But it still makes for a fun outing at the movies.