A SIMPLE FAVOR movie poster
Widowed single mom Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy vlogger with a growing audience, finds a new best friend in Emily (Blake Lively) - the mother of her young son Miles' (Joshua Satine) schoolmate Nicky (Ian Ho). When Emily suddenly disappears, Stephanie is determined to find out what happened. She teams up with the missing housewife's distraught husband Sean (Henry Golding) and seeks help from her online viewers. As the puzzle unfolds, complications arise.

Pitch perfect performances from Anna Kendrick and
Blake Lively raise the bar on this simply entertaining mystery. Director Paul Feig, best known for comedies such as "Bridesmaids" and "Spy", switches to a darker genre but still manages to inject light humor into this shadowy mix. Jessica Sharzer's screenplay, based on Darcey Bell's novel of the same name, has a familiar ring to it. The plot feels a lot like another popular book/movie. Revealing the title would be a spoiler. Some questionable editing makes this thriller seem disjointed at times. But the two female leads make it worth watching. Anna Kendrick smoothly transitions from nerdy, happy-go-lucky video blogger to aggressive sleuth. Blake Lively is magnetic as a forceful presence. A fine supporting cast gets little to do - except for Henry Golding. He's convincing as the pressured spouse in a departure from his recent role in "Crazy Rich Asians". Jean Smart and Rupert Friend have a few key scenes as Emily's reclusive mother and pompous boss. Providing a bit of comic relief is Andrew Rannells as an opinionated member of a parents' group. Revealing secrets and surprises keep the audience involved. "A Simple Favor" is a complicated pleasure. (3/5 CAMS)

Rated R (sexual content and language throughout, some graphic nude images, drug use and violence)
Running Time: 117 minutes

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