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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Francesca

Do Me "A Simple Favor" and Keep the French Music Coming!

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Opening Statement: I hope to enlighten my readers on a short journey into my views! I plan to post every other Sunday for the most part, excluding any spur of the moment ideas I may have or a busy schedule which may restrict me from posting that week. Thank you and enjoy!


Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick kick butt as two badass mamas who take viewers on the twisted ride of a lifetime...and French music plays all the while!


A Simple Favor had me and a close friend of mine engulfed in the drama, and scratching our heads in confusion all at the same time. And if you think this sentence was complicated and strange, well then you’re in for a treat with this flick!


Okay, now where do I begin...this film is a unusual and interesting one to analyze for my blog. It’s not a traditional comedy, thriller, or suspense film in that it does not completely fall into one of those categories. It even feels as if it wants to take a romantic turn, but doesn’t, so I’m not sure how I’d categorize it. It also gives me Get Out meets Mean Girls vibes. A very interesting mix in my opinion.

I guess the best way to write this blog is to simply write about what I think worked and what didn’t (said as if I’m not three paragraphs into the post already).


SPOILERS BELOW

As you can tell by the title, I thoroughly enjoy the French music that plays throughout the film. I’m studying French currently, trying to become fluent one day! This music style choice works for the sexy energy that fills the screen. Speaking of sexy, there is some great chemistry going on between characters Emily Nelson (Blake Lively) and Sean Townsend (Henry Golding) and later with Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) and Sean as well. Good chemistry is not the easiest thing to create in front of a camera, so this shows the strength of their skills.


Intercutting is HUGE in this film, and I like it. When a specific character tells a story or alludes to something, shots of the actual event are pieced in their, often revealing to the audience what really happened before the characters know. This storytelling technique is extremely intriguing and brings a new life to the film. It made me as an audience member, feel in the know at some points, and then wanting to know more at other points when only a small bit of information was presented. For instance, Stephanie’s husband Davis (Eric Johnson) seemed to be an unhealthy abusive man by his appearance and the actions we watch him engage in, but because these aspects were only displayed through intercut flashbacks, I was left wanting to know more about this man and their life together. Actually, as a whole, this film made everything obvious for the audience, and I believe it was done on purpose, which is different, but worked for the story.

I really enjoy Stephanie’s character development throughout the whole movie. She starts off as this over-achiever, mom-of-the-year type who seems to have it all under control (which we later see not to be entirely true). Over some stiff drinks, she befriends Lively’s character Emily, who teaches her how to toughen up. By the end, as she is on the hunt for Emily (and then on the hunt for “Emily’s” truth) we see Emily’s impact emerge from that goody-goody mama and it’s damn cool. Props to Anna Kendrick, her ability to gracefully blend her characters’ two conflicting attitudes into one sophisticated, crime-solving, stay-at-home mom, truly made the story as fun as can be.


Now on to some of things I didn't enjoy as much in the film, or that I felt were a bit odd. So as a whole, the entire film felt very fake. Obviously it is a movie and it is fake, but most movies try to convince the viewers that what they are seeing is real. A Simple Favor did not, and I'm not entirely sure if this was on purpose or not. At the start, there was some overacting, which surprised me because this isn't typical for the leads of the film, so it may have been a direction they were given.


I also wanted the intensity to build more, right away I knew who was bad and who wasn't, I wanted to be more shocked and less spoon-fed. Although, this did change because there were a plethora of twists and turns throughout. My friend commented that she felt like "what just happened" at the end, and that everything was fake, and kept changing throughout the film.

In my eyes, if Kendrick's character Stephanie turned out to be the crazier one, it would have been a bit more riveting for me. Blake Lively's character was clearly the bad guy the entire time.


There were a few other minor details that I felt were weird in this film and I am going to list them off quickly: -When the name of a movie is mentioned once, it's cute, but in this film it happened more than once, and it felt a bit much.

-Texts messages on a phone should never be shown on camera, it's just not attractive and it was shown in this film at one point.

-I was confused at why Stephanie was exposing so much about Emily's search on her vlog, if she was so scared of her (as time went on and they thought she was dead, but then weird occurrences were happening) then why would she be so public with that stuff? - Proves the "fake" idea that I was mentioning before.

-I felt like the husband should have been part of the scandal.


I really enjoy Paul Feig's directing in other films like Bridesmaid's and The Heat, but this movie had a much different vibe than those and I wouldn't have recognized it as one of Feig's films. Which is sort of fun, because it means Feig is diverse in his style.


Overall, the entire film was filled with never ending changes and twists, but the film needed substance in my opinion. I wanted to care more about the characters so I could be more devastated, surprised, etc. On a brighter side, if I had to label A Simple Favor with one word, that word would be "cool." The actors' attitudes were cool, the editing was cool, the intercutting was cool, etc. By cool, I mean "chill" and "slick" which all the leads successfully exercised.


~Francesca Reviews

 

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Disclaimer: All of my posts are based off of my own knowledge, opinion, and beliefs and this blog is only meant to be a platform to share those things with the world. I am always open to hear what you all have to say about the topics I write about, listening to many perspectives can only enhance my knowledge! Therefore, feel free to start a friendly conversation sharing your opinions! Thank you!


Photo Credits: https://time.com/5394925/a-simple-favor/

 

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