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‘A Simple Favor’ keeps you guessing

September 21, 2018

Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively play women with completely different personalities at the beginning of “A Simple Favor.” Kendrick plays Stephanie Smothers, a single mom who is very organized and offers advice on cooking and crafts from her Connecticut home via a video blog. Lively plays Emily Nelson, who wears chic clothes, likes to drink chilled martinis and has a public-relations job for an important fashion designer in New York City.

Stephanie and Emily both have young sons and meet when picking up their children at school. Emily invites Stephanie to her beautiful home and shares that she and her husband Sean (Henry Golding) are about to run out of money.

Despite their differences, Stephanie reveals a big secret to Emily and comes to think of her as a good friend. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie uses her video blog to seek help in finding her. Stephanie also starts caring for Emily’s son and cooking for Sean. At least one police officer seems to think that she may be getting too close to her missing friend’s husband.

There are many, many twists and turns in “A Simple Favor” and I don’t want to reveal anything that could lessen someone’s enjoyment of the film. As Stephanie tries to figure out what is going on, it is somewhat easy to determine one plot twist, but as the surprises keep coming, I was worried

that the movie might fall apart before reaching its conclusion. Yet, when it was over, I felt I had been entertained.

Also, “A Simple Favor” has some twisted humor and a prominently displayed painting that some people may feel is awkward to see, but I did enjoy the performances by both Kendrick and Lively and the fact that the movie kept me guessing about what was really happening.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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