Secrets and Lies

September 15, 2018 at 11:17 PM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment
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Spoiler Warning: This movie review of A Simple Favor contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!

A mommy vlogger with a secret. A femme fatale with a dark past. A has-been novelist without a clue.

These characters meet and collide in the dark comedy film, A Simple Favor.

The movie, which stars Blake Lively as pathological liar Emily and Anna Kendrick as the anxious and supermom Stephanie, tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two young mothers who get tangled in deceit and crime. Both Stephanie and Emily’s sons go to the same school and are actual friends.

Stephanie is a widowed mommy vlogger who meets Emily at her son’s school one day. She is the typical suburban mom who devotes her time to her son. Emily is a successful PR head of a major brand. She has a very strong personality and lives in an extravagant lifestyle. Her husband Sean, played by Henry Golding, used to be a novelist but presently works as a professor at a local college.

What would be a simple favor from Emily turns for the worst as Stephanie later finds out the truth about her friend. Apparently, Emily is not what she seems to be.

While the movie’s plot isn’t exactly fresh (we’ve seen a lot of stories in film and TV about faking people’s death for money), it still keeps you guessing who the real villain is. Who’s fooling who? Is Sean merely a victim of Emily’s twisted games or is he an accessory to a crime?

Blake Lively delivers a powerful performance in the movie as the secretive Emily while Anna Kendrick’s Stephanie is both endearing and naive. Henry Golding as Sean is sympathetic and clueless for the most part with his own shades of gray. It’s a stark contrast to his role in Crazy Rich Asians.

What is notable in A Simple Favor is the soundtrack as it features music almost entirely in French (watch the sample music from the soundtrack above) – completely befitting the film noir atmosphere of the movie. It gives me the feeling that I’m watching a French film myself.

Granted the movie’s dark tones, it still presents itself as a light, enjoyable film with occasional laughs amidst all the intrigue.

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