Blake Lively goes missing in the teaser trailer for Paul Feig's mystery/thriller A Simple Favor. The film is based on Darcey Bell's debut novel, which Fox 2000 acquired the movie rights to before it was even published in early 2017. Anna Kendrick stars opposite Lively in the film, with Henry Golding - who also stars in this summer's Crazy Rich Asians adaptation - and Linda Cardellini (Avengers: Age of Ultron) among the members of the supporting cast.
A Simple Favor revolves around small-town mommy vlogger Stephanie Ward (Kendrick) and her best friend, Emily Nelson (Lively). Everything changes for Stephanie when, one day, Emily asks her to pick up her son from school (e.g. the titular "simple favor"), only to disappear thereafter. Stephanie thus sets out to uncover the truth behind Emily's disappearance with the help of Emily's husband, Sean (Golding). But is there more going on here than meets the eye at first glance?
It doesn't spoil anything to say that the answer to that question is "Definitely yes." Lionsgate's teaser trailer for A Simple Favor similarly raises questions about Emily, as Stephanie can be heard via voiceover wondering if she knew her best friend as well as she thought she did. Kendrick, Lively, and Feig debuted the first A Simple Favor footage at CinemaCon last month, and now Lionsgate has made the trailer available online for everyone to watch. Check it out, above.
If you're getting a Gone Girl vibe from the trailer for A Simple Favor, you're not alone. Bell's novel was compared to Gillian Flynn's hit mystery/thriller by many a book critic, when it was first published. A Simple Favor the book further begs comparison to Gone Girl in the way that it uses unreliable narrators and tells its story from multiple points of view. At the same time, Bell's own novel about a woman mysteriously disappearing is very different from Flynn's book in the way that it focuses on the friendship between two women (as opposed to Gone Girl's focus on a straight married couple).
Feig, who cowrote A Simple Favor with American Horror Story veteran Jessica Sharzer, is operating in very different waters here compared to his previous directorial efforts. The Bridesmaids, Spy, and Ghostbusters director has become known for making comedies that put women at the forefront, and he's now attempting to do the same with the thriller genre. It remains to be seen if he's successful in this venture, but Feig certainly deserves commendation for spreading his wings and taking steps to evolve his craft as a storyteller here.
- A Simple Favor (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018