Blake Lively & Anna Kendrick are caught in a ‘REAR WINDOW/ GONE GIRL’ suspense in ‘A SIMPLE FAVOR’


Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively in A SIMPLE FAVOR. Courtesy of Lionsgate.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

We all know director Paul Feig’s work as one of our most beloved modern comedy directors. Whether that be BRIDESMAIDS, THE HEAT, SPY (which is genius), or GHOSTBUSTERS, he’s always been good for delivering on solid, smart set-ups and laughs. Now, he’s pivoting into a totally different genre with A SIMPLE FAVOR. The knowingly-ironic titled mystery thriller looks like it combines the tension and thrills of REAR WINDOW and GONE GIRL.

What’s even more wonderful is how glam the filmmakers let co-star Blake Lively get here. As proven by her tremendous, radiating “movie star” glow in THE AGE OF ADALINE, it’s my theory that she works best when she’s full entrenched in glam-mode. It’s where she does her best work. Take a look and see for yourself if my theory holds water here.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A SIMPLE FAVOR centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy vlogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town. Stephanie is joined by Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding) in this stylish thriller filled with twists and betrayals, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge.

The film, based on the book by Darcey Bell, has all the makings of a great mystery plot we can’t wait to unravel. Particularly intriguing is that the novel is filled with unreliable narrators – one of my favorite things. I can’t wait to see how screenwriter Jessica Sharzer (NERVE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY) has translated the book to screen – and how Feig will capture it all through an Otto Preminger-ian/ Alfred Hitchcockian-style lens.

And – not for nothing – that Saul Bass-inspired teaser poster is *chef’s kiss.*

A SIMPLE FAVOR opens on September 14.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.