Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively and the director of Spy and Ghostbusters – what a combination.
It’s this trio that leads the new mystery, psychological thriller, film-noir comedy that is A Simple Favour.
This is a strange film to lock down, tone-wise.
When it starts it feels like a modern comedy, but as the story progresses it slithers more and more into mystery mode.
Lively (The Age of Adaline) plays Emily Nelson, the femme fatale of this particular tale.
She is enigmatic, unapologetic and endlessly glamorous.
One day, during school pick-up, she makes a friend in fellow parent Stephanie Smothers (Kendrick, Pitch Perfect).
Stephanie is a ‘mummy blogger’, running a handy hint video series from her kitchen.
She is friendly, tenacious and the kind of crafty mum who puts all the others to shame.
Emily and Stephanie become fast friends, sharing deep secrets and becoming increasingly entwined in each others’ lives.
That is, until Emily goes missing.
Her disappearance leads to more questions than answers – did anyone actually know the real Emily?
The film – which also co-stars Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding, ER’s Linda Cardellini, The Young Victoria’s Rupert Friend and Legion’s Jean Smart – is undoubtedly entertaining and twisty-turny.
It’s quite the departure for director Paul Feig, who audiences are used to seeing deliver raucous comedies.
But A Simple Favour is dripping in style and off-beat suspense.
Lively is an updated version of the femmes fatales of old, like Lauren Bacall, Barbara Stanwyck or Lana Turner.
She is the epitome of unknowable cool, completely confident in her surroundings. She has everyone wrapped around her little finger.
The costuming is also outstanding, simultaneously ultra-modern and a throwback to the 1950s.
The film is sure to divide viewers with its odd and questionably successful mix of comedy and suspense, but it is an entertaining and unforgettable ride.