Have ya’ll seen A Simple Favor yet? If not, I suggest you get right on that.
First of all, lets discuss how I want to be Blake Lively. No, but really. I want to be her. She is #goals and I have loved her since way back when Gossip Girl was still on. Blake Lively is the epitome of a “cool girl.” Even when she’s stuck in the middle of the ocean on a rock while being hunted by a shark, as in The Shallows. And I wish my hair was as fabulous as hers, but that’s really neither here nor there.
Okay, so. Super Sweet Husband (Ty) took me on a lunch date to see A Simple Favor at The Moviehouse and Eatery (which is one of the few fancy movie theaters in Austin that has a full bar and good food) for our 5th wedding anniversary. It was all his idea. Because we were SO busy with some challenging health stuff in his family, he just scheduled the day date all on his own — he knew I wanted to see it and made it happen. I’m a lucky gal to have a husband who prioritizes our marriage, even when we’re both stressed to the max. When we arrived, we ordered ALL the champs/apps and reclined our troubles away. It was a real treat.
Ok, back to the movie. My first thought is that Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick both brought some of their unique personality traits to their characters in the film. Do I know either of these fabulous ladies in real life, you ask? The answer to that question is no. But I feel like in my imagination, their characters were not far off from how I want them to be in real life:
- Blake is, once again, cool AF. She has that element of intrigue, an epic wardrobe that not many women could pull off, nary a hair out of place, and can enjoy a mid-afternoon martini like nobody’s business.
- Anna is the funny one. She is sarcastic to the point where you are not even really sure that she’s joking, a little awkward — but in a good way, and is ready to take on the world, one Target sweater at a time.
Now listen, I wanted this movie to be a thriller. I want all movies to be thrillers — I love me a good plot twist. But it turns out that A Simple Favor really has everything you could want in any movie: comedy, suspense, dark humor, surprises, some light action/violence, an unsolved mystery, and — lo and behold, a video blog used as a main plot line (this speaks to me, for obvious reasons)! Director Paul Feig, who also brought us Freaks and Geeks, really pulled out all the stops to create this film within a hodgepodge of genres. And. I. Loved. Every. Minute. Of. It. Well, almost. Every. Minute. Of. It.
To the plot, though:
Anna Kendrick is a widowed, single, stay-at-home mom who runs a vlog that promotes mom-friendly crafts and recipes. Later, she will use the very same vlog to share her thoughts, feelings and reactions about the disappearance of her newly acquired “best friend,” Blake Lively.
Conversely, Blake Lively is portrayed as the polar opposite of Anna. She’s the busy mom, who works as a PR director for a high-end fashion company in the city. She can barely get her kid a meal, and immediately starts treating Anna like the help…but in an undercover way that’s not obvious to poor Anna.
The ladies both have sons who attend the same school, and they all (very!) quickly become fast friends — the boys and the moms. The two start having play dates where, while the boys play, the women drink and share horrific confessions with one another. It’s incredibly clear at the start of this budding friendship that some things are amiss with Blake’s character, marriage, and finances. And even clearer that that Anna is much more into Blake, than Blake is into Anna.
One day, Blake has a work crisis and asks Anna to babysit after school. She doesn’t answer phone calls, and ultimately does not return…obviously to the shock and horror of Anna. Blake’s husband is not immediately concerned. And like his wife, he, too, becomes a fast friend…or are they more?…of Anna’s. The longer Blake is gone, the stranger things become. And so begins the Anna’s amateur detective work via vlog.
Add in a couple of inappropriate relationships, countless poor decisions, about 100 gin martinis, a $4 million insurance policy, a love triangle, a death (or is it, really?!), and an estranged sibling — and you’ve got yourself quite a little storyline. I won’t say more, because you should really watch the movie for yourself.
The winner of the best supporting actor (in my eyes, of course) is the nosey, stay-at-home dad played by Andrew Rannells (from Girls!). This guy always puts a smile on my face — and this is only one of the many reason’s why:
I found A Simple Favor to be thoroughly delightful. I was engaged for the full run time. My main criticism is that I felt like the ending wraps up a bit too quickly. BUT — since I found the build up, laugh-out-loud moments, and sheer fabulosity of Blake’s couture ensembles to be so enjoyable (plus, let’s be honest, I was drinking champs…), I’m certainly more than willing to overlook a bad ending. I give it 4 stars, since it was most definitely more entertaining than not!
In the spirit of mommy vlogs, here’s an awesome Paleo (also, gluten-free!) recipe that SSH and I made this past Valentines day. They are the bomb.com and you should try them!
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries from Adventures of A Sick Chick:
- 12 fresh organic strawberries
- ½ cup allergen-free chocolate chips (Equal Exchange are organic, fair-trade, dairy-free, and soy-free)
- 1 Tbsp unrefined/virgin coconut oil
Wash, drain, and dry strawberries. Line a baking sheet or large flat plate with wax paper.
Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the concoction is smooth.
Remove from heat. Dip strawberries one by one into the melted chocolate, and carefully place on lined baking sheet or plate. Refrigerate strawberries for at least one hour to allow the chocolate to solidify.
Once your chocolate has hardened, your strawberries are ready to eat. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Xo.