Worlds collide in the new blockbuster from “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig
The Santa Clara
October 18, 2018
Stepping out of her 911 Porsche Targa, Emily’s arrival looks like something torn straight out of a 007 movie—badass. And she knows it. Stephanie, on the other hand, wants to be her.
Paul Feig takes a mysterious and sinister route for his newest movie “A Simple Favor.” Unlike Feig’s comedy chickflicks such as “Bridesmaids” and “Spy,” this twisted tale isn’t so comedic at all. It follows the shaky beginning and rotten conclusion to a toxic female friendship between Blake Lively’s Emily Nelson and Anna Kendrick’s Stephanie Ward.
Stephanie is the complete opposite of Emily. She’s a widowed, sweet mother who aspires to become famous for her crafty vlogs. She’s also the least bit interesting; her personality is the equivalent of having a cavity while biting into a caramel apple.
Every scene showed her frightening smile with this sinister 90-degree angle head tilt. The only time we don’t see her smile is when she’s trying to be angry, but even then, I couldn’t take her seriously.
When Emily walks up to the school to collect her son, Nicky, he asks to have a playdate with Stephanie’s son. While barely acknowledging Stephanie’s existence, Emily says she’ll agree if they can enjoy some martinis at the house while the kids have their playdate. Who can blame her? I would need some alcohol too if my kid begged me to have a playdate with Stephanie’s child.
Before the playdate comes to an end, Stephanie offers to take care of Nicky whenever Emily needs a break. Emily is surprised and says, “Wow, you’d really do that for me?” Of course she is offering to be at Emily’s beck and call since she is completely mesmerized by her high status and the fact that she’s showing the slightest interest in her.
Only a day goes before Emily calls Stephanie for the eponymous simple favor.
Stephanie takes Nicky for the day but Emily never arrives to pick up her son. Two days later, Emily still doesn’t come home and Stephanie has no choice but to call her husband, Sean and tell him the situation.
After alerting the authorities about Emily going missing, Stephanie attempts to take matters into her own hands which opens up a portal to who Emily really is.
The film did a fair job by portraying two females as leading actresses of the movie, but I’m not entirely sold on whether they were portrayed positively or not.
Although Emily is married, she is clearly the breadwinner of the house and wants to dispose of her husband to live a single life with her son. Stephanie is also the breadwinner of her family and lives her life to take care of her son. A match made in heaven right?
Wrong. Both females have a motive to take care of their children and live fulfilling lives, yet things burn like acid when they turn against each other in the movie.
When Stephanie goes looking for Emily, it turns into a sour incentive for blackmail instead of caring for Emily’s wellbeing. Instead of seeing two women lift each other up, they end up tearing each other down.
Emily’s character immediately enticed and hooked me although her character is perceived as the villain, I was 100 percent all in for it and wished they had shown her backstory more.
Kendrick was supposedly the leading lady, but Lively really stole the spotlight. I wanted to see nothing more but Emily thriving off her mysterious and independent personality. Men are always given the title of being so handsome and suave and I think it’s about time a female can be just as mesmerizing and intimidatingly beautiful.
I doubt anyone would look up to Stephanie’s awkward, cowardly character. If the film writers were intentionally making a dislikable character, they did a fine job doing so.
The clothing spoke louder than words for the female characters. I was in love with every outfit that Emily wore, seriously. I was taking mental notes of her style and thinking about what I had in my closet that I could cook up to look like this trendsetter. I wished the film showed more of Emily’s style and less of Stephanie’s aesthetic of a child’s closet.
Before a day was over, Stephanie was appearing in every scene with new outfits like when a girl tries on every piece of clothing she owns. If only they had made Stephanie’s character with stronger confidence and a physically pleasing appearance, then I would be able to take her more seriously.
Paul Feig has built his career through his big-budget comedies, so it’s surprising to see this film have little advertisement in the public eye. According to movie critics, it beat expectations and excelled at the box office during its opening week. The movie just didn’t exceed the amount of fame that Feig’s previous films have received.
Despite the perception of having a low popularity, “A Simple Favor” is thrilling, seducing and dark— and worth a couple hours of your time. I think any woman has a little bit of Emily inside of her, and I felt more confident as a woman after watching it.
Contact Azariah Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.