‘A Simple Favor’ is a lot of things, but I like it most because it’s cute. It’s visually stunning, the leading ladies are attractive, their outfits are characters by themselves, and the film leaves you with a nice warm feeling. Even as Emily and Stephanie (played deliciously by Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick) do bad things, the overall effect still feels like you are munching a macaroon, and maybe that is because of the French pop soundtrack. To call the film stylish would be an understatement – each frame feels like a pop art masterpiece.
The substance is more uneven. Based on Darcey Bell’s novel, the story plows through at a great pace, and some of the topsy-turvy twists and turns wheeze by before you can digest them, which made me feel like they were forced on me solely for gimmick. But it is saved by the dark humor here (disguised lightly) and by the flawless execution of the two actresses. Lively is great playing the wicked society girl with deadly panache, and Kendrick proves she is the MVP by giving menacing texture to her sweet and innocent mom vlogger. I vacillate between who is better. Right now as I write this I am leaning towards Kendrick, but I am sure after lunch it will be Lively. All in all, Paul Feig’s film is a treat, best consumed with a gi martini.