15 June 2006 | tneijens
A great movie
I went to see 'The Favor' in Las Vegas last Sunday and loved it. I was really struck by how good the performances were, and how strong the writing was. I was surprised to learn that this is Ms. Aridjes' first film, and do not understand why Ryan Donowho and Frank Wood are not well known actors. It is clear from this film that they are both extremely talented, and a bunch of the other performers in this movie were excellent as well (Isidra Vega, Jesse Kelly). Ms. Aridjis' direction seems sober and consistent, as all of the performances were strong and visually the film was quite beautiful. It is a dramatic film and some tragic things happen, but it never becomes sentimental or melodramatic which is always a turn off for me. The film has a great soundtrack, both the score and in its use of pre-existing songs (for instance, the oldies hit 'Let's Dance' in a diner scene), and has some very funny moments as well. Frank Wood plays a character named Lawrence, who is a pet photographer, so there are several comic and light scenes where we see him photographing people and their pets. This adds some appreciated lightness to what is otherwise a very dramatic film. There is also a very funny drug dealer (kelly) who Johnny (Ryan Donwho) does business with, and a sweet love story between Johnny and Mariana (Isidra Vega) which should appeal to a teen audience out there. I found it refreshing that the movie didn't have or feel it needed a twist or gimmick at the end, as so many films these days do. The film is dramatic, moving, funny, and sweet, and my friend said she cried at the end. We both felt it's the best thing we've seen in a while, and we loved the iguana scene!