Directed by Paul Feig (the director of the modern day classic Ghostbusters 2016) The film “A Simple Favor” was problematic to say the least.
I understand that the film is playing with expected women’s roles, but the costume design is WAY too obvious. Stephanie is dressed in a candy colored sweaters and skirts, while Emily is dressed in monochrome suites. We get it!
Emily and Stephanie’s relationship is way more obviously abusive in the film. I know their friendship was not very healthy in the novel and there is a good dose of unreliable narrator at play, still it takes a while to realize that Emily is using Stephanie.
I do like the scene where Stephanie goes to Emily’s office insisting on waiting to see Emily’s boss. . . and she almost falls off the cushion. That is something I would do. That being said, it’s weird that Stephanie has to go to such extremes to get in touch with Emily’s boss. In the novel, she just calls the office and talks to him.
They changed the ending! While I did complain that the novel had too many plot twists. The film went for a more dark humour take than the psychological horror of the novel. The main theme of the novel is that the person you though you knew, the person you thought was an innocent victim, they were behind everything. Both Emily and Stephanie in the novel do some creepy stalker style things. Both have elaborate plans to get what they want, and it’s creepy how methodical they are.
While the plot of the novel is too busy for me, the tone of the film is too dark humour for me. Somewhere between the two I think we have a very good psychological thriller with a satisfying dark ending.