The unexpected dark comedy “A Simple Favor” is a little too twisty (and twisted) to make the grade, but its two charismatic female leads make it slightly worth watching. In the same vein as “Gone Girl” (but far less cynical), this uber-stylish thriller from director Paul Feig sets the scene with a tangled suburban web of secrets, betrayals, and murder.
Bubbly mommy blogger Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily’s (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from town. Enlisting the help of the local police, Emily’s husband Sean (Henry Golding), and her internet audience, Stephanie begins to uncover some dark secrets about her new buddy.
The film delivers a little more than the garden variety, chick-flick mystery that it sounds like it would, but things get way too far-fetched and make the film seem hokey. The half-baked plot doesn’t do the likeable stars any favors, but they do give it their best shot to make the most of the material.
Feig brings his crisp and neat personal style behind the camera, which works in a sort of Stepford Wives kind of way. Each scene is orderly and clean, but the twee costumes and cloying French pop soundtrack will induce more eye-rolls than enjoyment.
It’s neither funny enough nor surprising enough to make a lasting impact. This is one of those forgettable little films that is best suited for a mindless weekend rental.