Synopsis: A mommy blogger seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend’s sudden disappearance from their small town.
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini, Jean Smart, Rupert Friend
Director: Paul Feig
Running Length: 117 minutes
TMMM Score: (8/10)
Review: Bouncing back nicely from the unfortunate misfire of the Ghostbusters reboot, director Paul Feig wisely cleared his stable of familiar players and cast Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect 3) and Blake Lively (The Shallows) in this supremely fun adaptation of Darcey Bell’s mystery novel. It’s a darker, edgier film for Feig and one that doesn’t rely on silly humor for its amusement.
Kendrick is a do-it-all divorced single parent befriended by Lively’s chic married professional. The two become fast friends over afternoon drinks during their kids playdates and while Kendrick’s character is a bit of a wet blanket at first, Lively gives her some good advice on how to get what you want by speaking up. When Lively disappears and doesn’t seem likely to return, a national search is enacted by her husband (Henry Golding, Crazy Rich Asians) and Kendrick who grow closer the longer she is away. There are twists aplenty as dead bodies are found and skeletons in closets are uncovered, leading to a solution to the mystery that’s intriguing and competently executed by Feig and company.
Apart from keeping the movie floating along with ease, Feig has filled the film with a great color palate and wonderful supporting characters (Jean Smart is a riot in a small but pivotal role), not to mention snazzy costumes for all. Kendrick leans into the complexities her character is given but it’s Lively who has the most interesting material to work with. To say more might tip you off as to what transpires in the second half of the movie but just when you think you’ve figured out what’s happening a new wrinkle is tossed in to throw you off balance. This was one of the most fun movies I saw in 2018 – a highlight to be sure.