Arts & Culture

‘A Simple Favor’ – Pick a Genre

By Jacob Darling

I’ve got to be honest: I saw this movie primarily because my girlfriend recommended it. Ironically, I ended up enjoying it more than she did. That being said, this movie has some pretty glaring problems with its third act.

It stars Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as two mothers who meet through their children while picking them up from school. These two immediately come off as polar opposites both on screen and in real life. That actually works to this movie’s advantage, I think, because these characters play off each other really well. simple_favor_ver2

But back to that third act. Going into this movie, I had only the trailer to go on, which portrayed this movie as a very interesting psychological murder thriller movie. Which it was. Until it wasn’t. I’ve seen this happen a lot lately with movies that try to blur the line between genres. Sometimes this works. ‘Game Night’ is a great example of a movie that was a fun twist on expected tropes, with an enjoyable mix of comedy and thriller.

‘A Simple Favor’ however, didn’t achieve this in my opinion for a few key reasons. The first being that while ‘Game Night’ was upfront about its genre bending, ‘A Simple Favor’ marketed itself as a straight-up thriller. Not once did I see a trailer with a single joke in it! This darker tone was pretty much what I saw in the first two acts of the movie as well. An occasion joke or two can be found at the beginning but the movie quickly gets much darker in act two as the plot ramps up its tension. Which is what makes the third act’s zany humor so perplexing. This movie starts out feeling like ‘Gone Girl’ and ends feeling like ‘Scooby Doo.’ It was a weird shift in tone to make at the last minute.

All in all though, I didn’t hate this movie. There was plenty to love in act two, and Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively both gave amazing performances. I just wish that the creators had decided what kind of movie they wanted to make and been consistent.

Categories: Arts & Culture

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