Director Paul Feig doesn't seem able to decide whether he's making a slightly outré crime comedy, a blithely twisted relationship thriller, a brightly lit horror melodrama, or maybe an arch meta-take on all three.
It's a film trapped between two genres that doesn't quite succeed at either, although to its credit, the likable cast - and especially the performance of Blake Lively - make it a worthy digital rental or Netflix watch.
As messy and predictable as its plot can get, A Simple Favor is an engaging throwback to the aforementioned tongue-in-cheek mysteries, drawing much of its energy from the chemistry between Kendrick and Lively. It need not be any more than that.
It's gratifying to see Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick both earning their keep in director Paul Feig's borderline-nutso crime comedy, one that won't be confused for a new Gone Girl. But even second-rate trashy turnarounds are worth savoring.
Until an ending that flies ruinously off the rails, Paul Feig's bouncy comedy-thriller brings out the scrappy best in Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively and offers an unexpected take on the twists and turns of female friendship.