A Simple Favor

Rated 4.0

A chipper young mommy blogger (Anna Kendrick) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a cynical neighbor (Blake Lively); when her new friend mysteriously disappears, our heroine throws herself into the search. Director Paul Feig’s movie (written by Jessica Sharzer from Darcey Bell’s novel) is an impish throwback to the stylish glam-thrillers of the early 1960s (Charade, Mirage, Arabesque) with a 21st century sass to go with all the twists and turns of the plot. Kendrick and Lively make a piquant yin/yang team, each sexy in her own way, with Henry Golding (as Lively’s husband) adding wrinkles to the character dynamics. The plot threatens to get convoluted in the last act, but Feig keeps it all light-fingered, focused, and gratifying. Linda Cardellini and Jean Smart add spice as figures from Lively’s past.