A Simple Favor Movie Review

Story posted September 24, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Emily Mugno

“A Simple Favor.” That’s all it was. This movie has a misconception of being a horror film, but it is way more intricate than that. It is an unusual blend of genres that work quite well together to create a suspenseful masterpiece. Paul Feig, the director, has been known for comedies like “The Heat,” “The Spy” and the 2016 remake of “Ghostbusters.” 
This type of movie was a complete left turn from anything Feig would normally do, but he captures the idea of the movie phenomenally. Feig has a technique in this movie by inserting flashbacks to tell the story of Emily and Stephanie’s twisted relationship, which works quite brilliantly.

Feig’s target for the movie was to make fun of any traditional or cliché thriller movie. He wanted to utilize the equation that Alfred Hitchcock, an iconic director, used as a model for suspense. This was “a sense of alarming thrill combined with amusing fun.” His goal was to also “challenge the default setting” of male dominant films by having two females as his leading roles. 

The focus of the movie is the unique friendship between Stephanie Smothers, played by Anna Kendrick, and Emily Nelson, played by Blake Lively. The two women meet at their sons’ school when they are begging and pleading for a playdate. Emily has a chic nature about her with a laid-back parenting style, while Stephanie is an example of a worrisome mom who feels like she can never do enough for her child. 

Stephanie yearns to be Emily’s friend because of her invigorating persona. Little did she know, Emily has many secrets, and far more than an average person would. On another normal day, Emily calls Stephanie frantically saying she has a work meeting and she won’t be able to pick up her child from school. Stephanie immediately says she’ll do it without hesitation, as a simple favor for her new friend. 

Strangely enough, Emily doesn’t come to pick up her son from Stephanie’s house after one day. One turns to two. Two turns to three. It continues for several more days before she calls the police to report a missing person. Emily’s husband, Sean is played by Henry Golding, who just starred in his first movie, “Crazy Rich Asians.”  He is concerned with his wife’s disappearance, but he doesn’t seem surprised by it either. Stephanie wants answers. She wants the answers that the police aren’t finding. She will not stop at any account to find them, so she takes matters into her own hands. 

Viewers seemed to have a split of different opinions when it came to the movie. Some thought the movie was completely “ludicrous and chaotic,” while others thought it was “a movie that kept them at the edge of their seats.” There was no gray area for viewers. 

This is a must-see movie. It’ll leave a one puzzled for hours after leaving the theatre. It’s a movie that will keep a viewer laughing, cringing, and gasping, all in one sitting. The concept of the movie is unlike many others.

Rating: 3/5 stars


Emily Mugno is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email esm6@psu.edu.