Saturday, September 15, 2018

NOW SHOWING:  'A Simple Favor'


ANNA KENDRICK and BLAKE LIVELY'S new movie plays like a candy coated minefield and is a delight to watch unfold. It's humorous, treacherous, sarcastic and sexy all at once.
ANNA KENDRICK plays a deceptively innocent Internet website entrepreneur named Stephanie that's been on a hidden emotionally fall since a personal tragedy. She then meets someone who (apparently!) is the exact opposite of her in the woman, Emily, played to the hilt by the lovely but rough around the edges-feeling BLAKE LIVELY.
Once the two get to know each other a little bit more -and I stress 'a little bit' they begin a game of mental cat and mouse that soon involves the character Sean, (the husband of Emily), acted to perfection by HENRY GOLDING. The plot of this film is practically irrelevant; it plays second fiddle to the more important thing on demonstration here: that the people you think you know are more complex than you think and what's worse they have only shown you what they want you to see... because they have plans for you.
The director, PAUL FEIG, and cinematographer, JOHN SCHWARTZMAN, each did excellent jobs in graphically alluding to and revealing the true darker natures of the characters. Using solid lighting effects, muted tones, and vivid colors along with any necessary shadow play the cinematographer kept the film visually appealing. Meanwhile the director's unflashy, unpretentious style kept you concerned only with the plot -as it should be. All of this was set off by a sometimes bouncy, definitely irreverent, and without a doubt sharp script by JESSICA SHARZAR.
Having noted all of these things one of the most important qualities you'll notice about this film is the refreshing nod to real life random diversity of racial interactions. You have Muslims, Blacks, Asians, Gays and of course Whites casually interacting on a constantly changing basis. Like your modern American city you can be talking to an Egyptian at one moment, take a call from your Asian secretary the next, then get stopped by an obviously Gay gentleman looking for directions -all within 5 to 10 minutes of each other. I haven't seen a movie display so many different types of people within it's narrative so effortlessly.
Another unexpected bonus I got from this film was ANNA KENDRICK'S 'secretly horny nerd girl' appeal. Her nascent loveliness is of course well known but this film reveals a another level of her acting skills and charisma in general.
No regrets watching this movie indeed. So if you want a good 'little' film that flirts with the murder-mystery lover in you then go watch it!
George Alan Booker © 2018 All Rights Reserved

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