A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Why do the romantic crushes we get as inexperienced teenagers seem so much more vivid and poignant than the Real Thing, when it finally comes along? I think it's because adult relationship are about two people, and teenage crushes are about only one - ourselves.
To love another person, at that age, is to hate ourselves - to despise all the flaws, real and imaginary, that make us unworthy of this perfect other person we have created in our imaginations. Even today, remembering girls I knew when we were both 15, I invest them with a power and wisdom that I would not grant, today, to Mother Theresa crossed with Iris Murdoch. It wasn't how wonderful they were, I know; it was how much more wonderful they were than I was.
"The Favor" is about a woman who feels the same way about her steady high school boyfriend. She hasn't seen him in 15 years, and in the meantime she's gotten married and had a child. But she still obsesses about him, and in her imagination he has grown up into an ideal man, a hunk who is also smart and tender.
The woman's name is Kathy (Harley Jane Kozak), and she is bored with her marriage to Peter (Bill Pullman). She's fascinated with the life of her old high school classmate Emily (Elizabeth McGovern), who runs an art gallery and has a boyfriend named Elliott (Brad Pitt) who's an artist, six or seven years younger. But now Emily and Elliott are on hiatus, and when Kathy learns that Emily is visiting their former hometown, she makes her promise to look up the old boyfriend.