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A Simple Favour - Netflix

Anna Kendrick photographs Blake Lively in a park
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

A chic and funny mystery thriller. 4/5 stars

Bridesmaids director Paul Feig heads into Gone Girl territory for this chic mystery thriller starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively but his comic snap is still very much in evidence.

Kendrick is a hoot as nerdy mommy blogger Stephanie and Lively drips drop-dead cool as her glamorous 'best' friend Emily, whose sudden disappearance from their small Connecticut town turns Stephanie into an unlikely amateur sleuth.

Deliciously set off by a soundtrack of chichi French pop songs, the film drips with deadpan hilarity - most of it stemming from the exquisite culture clash between single mom Stephanie's suburban naffness and fashionista Emily's icy cosmopolitan charm. And when Emily goes missing - which is as much a puzzle to her handsome author husband Sean (Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding) as it is to Stephanie - the story (based on the novel by Darcey Bell) keeps us on the hook with its unexpected twists and turns.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.