Movie review: A Simple Favor
A Simple Favor is the latest addition to Paul Feig's growing list of female-centric movies.
The director of Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy and Ghostbusters has never encountered problems assembling a strong cast, and this is no different.
Time literally stands still when Feig introduces Blake Lively.
Just like Anna Kendrick's Stephanie, who stands with mouth agape as Lively's Emily steps out of her Porsche in slow motion dressed in a sharp pinstripe suit, you will find yourself a hostage to Lively's enigmatic presence.
Lively's charisma, confidence and cleverness are ablaze in every single frame.
Clothes truly make a woman and credit goes to costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus, who clads her in high-end menswear-inspired suits.
Lively's statement wardrobe was reportedly inspired by Feig's personal style and then sourced from Ralph Lauren's archival vintage women's suits.
Kendrick's helicopter parent, on the other hand, is dressed in everyday "mummy wear", making her relatable, especially when her Stephanie is the eager beaver seeking acceptance and increased views for her YouTube channel.
The synergy between his leading ladies is a hallmark of Feig's works, and needless to say, the chemistry between Kendrick and Lively is the film's driving force, especially when it takes a twisty turn after Emily is declared dead.
Feig's attempt at making A Simple Favor an engaging mystery backfires as the numerous flashbacks make the plot convoluted and silly. You can also see the twist a mile away.
To his credit, he tries his hand at characterisation, though the execution is flawed. For instance, we get glimpses of Stephanie's true colours. Has she always been coveting Emily's luxe life?
After all, she has no qualms moving into Emily's home and jumping into the bed of the supposedly grieving widower (Henry Golding) and be the lady of the house straight after Emily's funeral.
This is Golding's second Hollywood outing following Crazy Rich Asians, and he is again overshadowed by the women.
Also, he should really consider taking up more acting classes.
MOVIE: A Simple Favor
STARRING: Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, Henry Golding
DIRECTOR: Paul Feig
THE SKINNY: Single mum and vlogger Stephanie (Kendrick) is asked to do a simple favor: Pick up her best friend Emily's (Lively) son after school. But when Emily fails to show up after a few days, Stephanie takes it upon herself to uncover the truth behind the sudden disappearance.