Is “Hi, Moms! With Stephanie” a Real Vlog? Is Sean Townsend an Actual Writer?

In Paul Feig’s crime thriller film ‘A Simple Favor,’ Stephanie Smothers is a stay-at-home mom who spends her time helping her fellow moms become better parents through her blog, “Hi, Moms! With Stephanie.” The vlog features several instructions, tips, and recipes to make the lives of her followers easier. Her path crosses with the life of Sean Townsend, a celebrated writer a decade ago, through her best friend, Emily Nelson. Stephanie gets drawn to Sean as an admirer of the latter’s work, and eventually, they form an intense relationship. Even though their tales seem grounded, they are actually not in real life!

The Significance of Stephanie’s Vlog

“Hi, Moms! With Stephanie” is a fictional vlog conceived for the narrative of ‘A Simple Favor.’ Even though there are several vloggers named Stephanie with a considerable following on the internet, The Happy Planner with 104,000 and Stephanie George with 45,200 subscribers on YouTube to name a couple, they are not connected to the charming mother in Paul Feig’s film, an adaptation of Darcey Bell’s novel of the same name. Although the vlog is fictional, it is an integral part of the film’s narrative and structure, which justifies its prominence in the crime thriller.

The film establishes Stephanie’s POV through her vlog. The narrative begins with her recollecting how she bonded with Emily for her followers, offering the same insight to the viewers. As the film progresses, Stephanie’s thoughts and notions are revealed through her vlog updates. These scenes make the viewers one of her followers, forming a closer connection between the movie’s protagonist and the audience. The viewers inevitably root for Stephanie and her pursuit of truth as we become one among her wellwishers as the followers of her captivating uploads. Since similar vlogs have been trending for a while now, Stephanie’s one makes the character rooted in reality as well.

What makes ‘Hi, Moms! With Stephanie’ is an integral part of the film is its significance in the climax. Stephanie saves herself and Sean from the diabolical mind of Emily/Hope by tricking the latter to confess to her crimes on camera, only for the same to be streamed as another episode of her vlog. Stephanie also finds clues about Emily’s whereabouts through her vlog community, which makes it an essential part of the crime thriller.

The Creation of Sean Townsend, the Writer

Sean’s existence as a writer is the creation of Jessica Sharzer, who wrote the adapted screenplay of Darcey Bell’s novel of the same name. In the source text, Sean is a successful investment banker who travels to England for the sake of his business rather than the health of his mother. The importance of Sean’s change in the profession is evident in the relationship he builds with Stephanie. The stay-at-home gets drawn to Sean because he is the writer of a book she really admires. As a member of a book club, Stephanie adores books and writers. The same admiration is extended to Sean, only for them to sleep together.

Emily’s return from death may not have happened if she didn’t find out that her grieving husband had been sleeping with her best friend. Stephanie may not have gotten drawn to Sean if he was an investment banker, a profession that doesn’t appeal to her. As someone who is not interested in business or banking, Stephanie doesn’t have any reason to be fascinated by her best friend’s husband. Furthermore, Sean’s unsuccessfulness, contrary to his portrayal in Bell’s book, justifies why Emily doesn’t mind disappearing from him. If he is as successful in the movie as he is in the book, it might have been harder to establish him as the boring husband who deserves to be incriminated for the murder of his wife.

Read More: A Simple Favor: Is the Movie Based on a True Story?