The Irresistible Queerbaiting of “A Simple Favor”

The Irresistible Queerbaiting of “A Simple Favor”

By Natasha Lowe

a simple favor

A Simple Favor, directed by Paul Feig, centers around two unlikely friends Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mom with a DIY YouTube channel and Emily (Blake Lively), a successful public relations director for a popular fashion company. The film focuses on Stephanie trying to uncover the truth of Emily’s sudden disappearance. However, from the trailer, this and the fact that Lively wears super gay pantsuits throughout the movie is all that we can figure out.

“I’m glad I watched the movie, even though I was somewhat queer baited.”

After learning about the movie online and hearing that the two main characters Kendrick and Lively kiss, I was worried that the writers and the director were queer baiting their potential audience. I was also concerned that they were going to play into the lesbian villain trope, where a queer woman appears to be unstable and only there to antagonize.

Still, even with that, I went to see the movie. Even though I hate queerbaiting (I’m looking at you The 100), if it’s done right, I’m ready to sign up. “Doing it right” means not killing the queer characters and including a little bit of fan service (intentionally there to please the audience, i.e. Pitch Perfect). I know the characters won’t end up together with a happy ending, but I can’t help but to guiltily give into exactly what the filmmakers want. Maybe it’s because we have so little representation that when we think we see a gay we all flock to it. But what can you expect, I’m just a hopeless gay that was excited to see Blake Lively (I mean come on have you seen her face) and the —straight-but-can’t-help-but-be-super-gay Anna Kendrick.

a simple favor

Although Lively’s character did not explicitly say she was bisexual, we learn that she has had previous encounters with both men and women. It is not made a main focal point to the plot, but it just makes the looks she gives Kendrick’s character even more satisfying.

I’m glad I watched the movie, even though I was somewhat queer baited. A Simple Favor was a dark thriller with many twists and turns that had plenty of hilarious moments. When I wasn’t drooling over Blake in a bare-chested vest or hearing her calling Anna “baby,” I was completely captivated by the craziness of this movie and how the story was going to end. Just when you think you know what is going on you realize you have no idea what is going to happen.

So if you like thrillers or women in suits, A Simple Favor movie is for you. Also, the opportunity of seeing Blake in a vest should make you want to watch it before it leaves the theaters.

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