He was slimed after Ghostbusters and many assumed the twitter trolls had buried his career for good. Yet from the ashes one Paul Feig rises like a phoenix, with a new genre to his name - although what the genre is I'm afraid I really don't know. Anna Kendrick stars as eager single mum Stephanie who befriends the sexy and mysterious Emily. After Emily goes missing however, Stephanie seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend's secret life.
Twisted to the point of self indulgence, A Simple Favour plays like an overly extravagant and trashy episode of Real Housewives, struggling hard to understand itself. After much success in the comedy scene with Bridesmaids, Spy and The Heat - Feig attempts to step outside his comfort zone and tackle a new type of film. A Simple Favour flounders undecisively between black comedy, erotic thriller and crime drama, unfortunately for Feig his latest film is two frozen margaritas short of a tonal mess. Some parts really work, some don't at all - and the film is thwarted by a yet again poor comedic timing.
The film opens very promisingly as Kendrick accounts for what happened the day Emily went missing. We then cut to the day the two mums meet, one playful exchange and two stiff drinks later they've practically become chalk and cheese best friends. Nevertheless, once the film unravels, its sharp screenplay soon turns into an exceedingly corny, glorified episode of something you'd find on day time TV. A Simple Favour loses its footing when it tries too hard to subvert your expectations; it so desperately wants to be perceived as a slick flick that it literally throws any random plot development into the mix in the hope that it will work in its favour, but this ultimately leads to an utterly ludicrous finale.
With all that being said this will be the movie that cements Kendrick as a Hollywood star. She symbolises the modern day stay-at-home-mum who throws herself into all of her son's extra-curricular activities. Appearing sanguine and composed, truthfully she's just as shady as a Stepford Wife. Using the idea of yummy mummies to craft a story of dark secrets and hidden personalities, Kendrick and Lively are two very nimble leads. For all its faults, A Simple Favour adds two shots of gin to make this adult-friendly cocktail a tad more flavoursome.
As the ironic title suggests - A Simple Favour is more than a simple movie. In truth Feig has created an incredibly bizarre feature that despite its many faults remains very interesting, whether that be good or bad. Unfortunately the film flip-flops dramatically between genres and becomes surprisingly difficult to keep up with. The near term future may be uncertain for Feig after all.
A Simple Favour:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.