As with all of these, spoilers ahead. For this post, spoilers for A Simple Favor specifically
Okay okay okay, I know I might lose some of you here but bear with me.
“But Emily is a villain!” Yes, I know.
“She is a manipulative psycho.” I am aware.
“SHE IS A MURDERER.” Will you let me get my point across?
I’m not saying she’s a good person. Not even a little bit. I’m not saying you should aspire to be her. I’m saying she has some traits that I wish I had, not that I’d trade places with her or mark myself as her on a personality test.
I read the book before seeing the movie and to be honest, I preferred the book ending where she gets away with everything. A Simple Favor is a story filled with TERRIBLE people (anyone who tries to tell me Stephanie isn’t terrible can go home) who do terrible things, but Emily, while being the worst of the bunch, is the one that you find yourself rooting for. If you watch the special features of the movie, they reveal that’s specifically why they cast Blake Lively for the role–she can play a compelling villain that you almost want to win.
Her number one driver in the entire plot is her son. An argument could be made for money being a motive, but she wants that money to provide a comfortable life for Nicky. Does she go about it in the best way? Absolutely not. Faking your death and killing people is never an okay thing to do. But down to the end, she loves her son and that’s why she does everything she does.
She’s also the picture of confidence. When Stephanie is apologizing for anything and everything (which is an AWFUL habit of mine), Emily fires back with, “You don’t need to apologize. It’s a fucked up female habit.” She owns who she is and doesn’t back down from a tough situation. She’s a little too tough when talking to her boss, but she won’t let anyone walk all over her.
Of course, she’s absolutely glamorous. Part of this might be the Blake Lively casting (because I’d give up my voice Little Mermaid-style to look like Blake Lively… kidding!… kind of) but the radiance that emanates any time Emily is onscreen is captivating. Not only are the characters fascinated, but it turns her into a character that you want to watch and know more about, which is why the story is so intriguing.
So if you’ve stuck with me, you can see it’s not her moral compass that intrigues me, but her traits that exist despite that. This is another one that just might be influenced by the double Taurus in my birth chart, but for now I’ll keep turning on A Simple Favor when I need a nice shot of a beautiful aesthetic, in the way of a pretty movie or just Henry Golding’s accent.