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Who Is the Real Star of A Simple Favor: An OUT Investigation

Who Is the Real Star of A Simple Favor: An OUT Investigation

Who Is the Star of 'A Simple Favor': An Out Investigation
Lionsgate

This post-modern noir thriller has a pressing off-screen mystery.

Paul Feig's post-modern noir thriller A Simple Favor debuted this Friday to generally positive reviews -- OUT editor Dennis Hinzmann called it "a cinematic treat" and "the housewife drama of the year" in his review. The film, which stars Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, is a twisty mystery about two mothers whose friendship gets complicated when Emily (Lively) disappears, leaving mommy vlogger Stephanie (Kendrick) to investigate, realizing she knows next to nothing about her enigmatic pal. It's a fun end-of-summer film full of snappy jokes, incredible tailored suits and gasp-worthy twists.

Related | A Simple Favor Is the Housewife Drama of the Year

But the biggest mystery of this film, as far as I'm concerned, is who the star is. Sure, the ladies are both successful actresses in their own right and share top billing, but every film has a star and like Kendrick's character, I made it my mission to get to the bottom of this pressing questions.

Exhibit A: Screentime

Just like Gone Girl, whose tide A Simple Favor is absolutely riding, this is a film about a woman who disappears and the people who try to find her. As Lively is the film's missing woman, that means Kendrick gets much more screen time trying to find her. The film is also told through Stephanie's POV -- her mommy vlogs frame the film. Kendrick is without a doubt A Simple Favor's protagonist, so that's one point for her.

Exhibit B: Looks

While Stephanie might be the character audiences are supposed to identify with, and while her arc is captivating in its own right, Lively gets to have most of the fun in the film and a lot fo that is because she gets to look so good throughout the whole thing. Emily heads the PR team for a Tom Ford wannabe played by Rupert Friend and is as effortlessly glamorous as she was on Gossip Girl, although rather than designer boho glam, Emily prefers sharply constructed suits and tuxedoes. Lively has even taken a cue from her characters wardrobe for the press tour and damn, can that woman work a suit, whether it's patterned, pinstriped or neon green. If the star gets the best looks than this might be Lively's film...

Exhibit C: Celebrity

This debate comes down to a simple fact: who of these two beautiful, talented actresses is the more famous. Going into the film I fully thought it was Blake Lively because, you know, she's Blake Lively. Remember that movie Age of Adaline where she was kind of a superhero whose power was basically being pretty forever? But a few weeks before A Simple Favor's release I attended a cocktail party for the film that both actresses attended and Kendrick was in-and-out in under 20 minutes while Lively stayed all night, gamely taking photos with fans. To some it would seem that makes Favor her movie to sell, but turning up to take a few photos and then hightailing it back to your hotel is textbook A-list behavior.

The Verdict

Based on the fact that she's clearly the film's protagonist and its more famous actor, it would seem that Anna Kendrick is the true star of A Simple Favor. But while Lively may not have a film franchise behind her or an Oscar nomination, the film is about a mystery with her at the center. Nick Dunne might have the most screentime in Gone Girl, but he's not the girl who's gone. Lively, as the glamorous missing mom, is the true star of A Simple Favor. Fight me.

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