Before I start, I have had a crush on Anna Kendrick since Up In The Air.
This is an attempt at a comedic thriller. Game Night is the most direct comparison I can make. Game Night was noticeably better.
In A Simple Favor the acting is pretty solid throughout from the two boys to Anna, Blake and Henry Golding (as seen in CRA). The director, Paul Feig, did the female Ghostbusters, Spy, and Bridesmaids. So we can all agree this should be pretty good.
This movie has way too many twists. I would liken it to someone drunkenly telling you a story but constantly forgetting parts and remembering them later and desperately trying to hold your attention with buildups that don't pay off. The movie gets 45 minutes in and then realizes it forgot to give you a back story. Then it does it again 15 minutes later and another 10 after that. Trying to keep track of what is real and what is fake and who knows what is nearly impossible. It is also done in such a way that you can't just ignore it and enjoy the ride. I didn't look at my watch like Ina did 3/4 of the way through the movie, but I did start to think about why I wasn't fully enjoying the movie. This happened for the last 20 minutes of the movie and I was struggling with what exactly was annoying me.
The story uses tropes that are pretty boring in an attempt to make up for a lack of creativity. I also felt no connection to any of the characters, except for the fact I have a crush on Anna Kendrick. Again the acting was good, but I didn't care what happened to who.
If you like lighter hearted thrillers and haven't seen Game Night go watch that. If you have seen Game Night and want to burn few hours on an ok movie then wait and rent A Simple Favor.