Movie Mondays: A Simple Favor

This year, promotion for Paul Feig’s newest film began. The marketing used an unusual tactic: the film’s star, Blake Lively, deleted her old Instagram account and created a new one using the identity of someone named Emily Nelson. This tactic immediately caught the attention of many, with the premise of the film still being kept secret. It wasn’t until a few months later when the first teaser was released that the public managed to find out that the name Lively used belonged to her character in the film, and they got a glimpse into what the film’s plot entailed.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The film stars Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, and Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding. The main story centers around Kendrick’s character, Stephanie Smothers, a mom blogger who’s the epitome of both helicopter parenting and over-involvement in her child’s school; she is disliked by many due to being almost “perfect.” She meets Emily Nelson, a successful PR executive for a fashion brand that’s trendy, stylish, and infamous among the elementary school due to Nelson seemingly never being there for her young son. To everyone’s surprise, Stephanie and Emily hit it off and begin spending almost every afternoon in Emily’s high-class house together, drinking martinis, and exchanging secrets.

One day, Emily asks Stephanie to pick her son up from school since she has to take care of business. Stephanie agrees to help, but Emily never returns to take her son home. It turns out that Emily wasn’t the person everyone thought she was; not even her husband Sean seems to know her. Her disappearance becomes the talk of the town. Everyone turns against each other and wonders what’s the truth behind it all.

One thing I loved about this film is the fact that it uses an exquisite color palette. The film’s posters had also been colorful, and so had the trailers, so I was glad that the movie kept that same color scheme and that it wasn’t just used for promotional purposes. The colors used in the film also represent how the characters change as the story progresses You especially notice this with Stephanie, whose life is entirely altered after Emily’s disappearance and the colors that begin to surround her (including her wardrobe) change along with her. The same thing happens to Emily, who is usually surrounded by somber colors, though these colors begin to change, the more we uncover the truth about her disappearance.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I was expecting this film to be like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and it was to a certain extent, but it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. There’s a twist, and while it’s easy to follow, it’s still-- for lack of a better word-- un papelón. Some of the scenes are new to this type of movie, but other tropes definitely border on cliche. It’s worth mentioning that during the revelations, my friend Adriana, with whom I saw the movie, accidentally dropped her nachos. It happened during the perfect moment, and it made the scene even more captivating. However, like any film of this genre, it had some moments that leave you wondering how that happened and why. It’s all part of the fun. I enjoyed those moments and even laughed at the absurdity.

Overall, it wasn’t a terrible film. It was beautifully done with some impeccable acting and some delicious humor, but I expected more from the twist. Even though I didn’t predict it, it wasn’t something that completely knocked my socks off.

Rating: 3.5/5