With Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively's thriller coming out this weekend, there are a lot of questions about a project that marks the first collaboration between the Constance Billard School for Girls' Serena van der Woodsen and the Bella's Becca. Well, the movie is finally opening and before you head to the theater, you might find yourselves wondering if A Simple Favor is based on a true story.
Although it seems ripped from the headlines (the creepy disappearance of a mom, questions about the husband's character, etc...) the story is totally fiction, and based on the novel of the same name by pre-school teacher Darcey Bell, as Variety reported. With the feeling of mysterious cases such as Colorado's Shannon Watts' tragic murder last month and hits like Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, the novel was tapped prior to its publication in 2016 for a big-screen adaptation, according to Variety.
The movie, as People reported, is directed by Paul Feig (who previously worked on Freaks and Geeks as well as The Heat) and stars Kendrick as Stephanie, a mommy blogger who attempts to figure out the disappearance of her new friend Emily, portrayed by Lively. In the process, Stephanie discovers that Emily isn’t exactly who she said she was, and loses her grip on her own sanity. Henry Golding from Crazy, Rich Asians co-stars as Lively's husband, Sean, in a tale that grows increasingly twisty with each turn, as you can see in its trailer (below).
"I thought, 'This character has lived so many different lives, that in order to do that and not be recognized, she must jump ship and have a completely distinct identity in each life,'" Lively recently told USA Today of trying to get to the bottom of a character who vanishes early in the film.
As for Kendrick, whose character is the more stable one trying to unravel things? She's so funny, it might not occur to anyone that she's a bit shy, even introverted, at heart. In fact, she told Ellen DeGeneres recently that she lied about her whereabouts on her 33rd birthday so she could celebrate solo, as People reported. “I specifically did nothing. I’m one of those people that hates — not birthdays, I’ll go to your birthday. But I hate my birthday cause I hate attention,” she told the comedian.
In trailers and interviews for the movie, the two actresses have a totally natural rapport, as you could even see when Lively and Kendrick presented at last month's MTV VMAs as well as in this video below from Entertainment Tonight. It almost seems as if they have been friends for ages. Needless to say, it will definitely be a treat to see how their chemistry unfolds on-screen with A Simple Favor, that's for sure.
Given the epic success of other creepy, mysterious thrillers in recent years, it seems fair to expect that A Simple Favor will also impress and keep viewers on the edges of their seats. In fact, Entertainment Weekly's review described it as a "twisty, Hitchcockian thriller laced with dark humor."
It sounds intense and super entertaining, and fortunately A Simple Favor is one of those films that lets you escape reality for a little bit.