Scott Marks noon, Jan. 11
A Simple Favor
Hyper-performing single mother and strangely struggling mommyvlogger Anna Kendrick crosses paths with mysterious and free-spirited career gal Blake Lively. The two bond over martinis and mutual admiration: Kendrick is taken with Lively’s passionate marriage and aggressive attitude; Lively likes Kendrick’s down-home sweetness and motherly devotion. But the marriage doesn’t keep Lively from vanishing one afternoon, and the sweetness doesn’t keep Kendrick from getting tangled up in the mess she leaves behind. 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. Or maybe it’s just that he feels no decision is necessary, not with Kendrick’s kicky verve and Lively’s magnetic presence to keep the viewer intrigued. (I didn’t notice if Lively’s wardrobe got its own billing, but it certainly deserved it.) But being intrigued isn’t the same as caring, which may be why Feig has to keep the twists coming, in the hope that your spinning head won’t notice your unmoved heart. 2018.