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For a Good Time, Call… (A Movie Review)

For a Good Time, Call...

For a Good Time, Call…


Starring Ari Graynor, Lauren Anne Miller, James Wolk, Nia Vardalos, Mark Webber, Justin Long, Mimi Rogers, Don McManus, James Wolk, Nia Vardalos, Sugar Lyn Beard, Steven Shaw, Kevin Marino, Martha MacIsaac, Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen.

Screenplay by Lauren Anne Miller & Katie Anne Naylon.

Directed by Jamie Travis.

Distributed by Focus Features.  85 minutes.  Rated R.

The Judd-Apotow-ization (yeah, yeah, I know it’s not a real word) of women’s films continues to try to take hold.  The movies are dedicated to a simple concept – that women can be as gross and immature as the guys, just so long as they learn how to feel and love while doing so.

After all, Judd has hit paydirt showing guys being horribly immature and at the same time surprisingly soulful in the likes of The Forty Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Funny People.  Why not flip the switch and let the ladies live la vida loca?

The movement hit buzzworthy-level last year, when Kristin Wiig’s Bridesmaids (which Apatow was involved with, though just from a production level) became a surprise hit.  Since then, the barrage has been swift, with the likes of this film and L!fe Happens as well as the upcoming Bachelorettes and Pitch Perfect showing that women can be just as big pervs and slobs as the guys.  It’s liberated, sort of…, I guess.

For a Good Time, Call… is a frothy girl-power buddy comedy about phone sex.

Of course, this premise brings up certain basic questions.  Do they still even have phone sex?  That sounds so 90s.  It seems like the net would have pretty much crushed the industry.  Even looking at the poster is oddly nostalgic – check out those cute women enjoying talking flirtily on pink corded phones.  It’s like something out of an old Jessica Hahn Love Line commercial.

However, in the world of For a Good Time, Call…, phone sex is not only still alive but shockingly lucrative – according to the script, these two chicks are making $12,000 a month at it.

For a Good Time, Call… is the story of Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller, who also co-wrote the film) and Katie (Ari Graynor).  Lauren is a pretty-but-uptight smart girl, Katie is the cute wild girl.  They met in college through their flamboyantly gay bestie Jesse (an over-the-top Justin Long) as shown in a short prologue, in which they grow to hate each other after Katie accidentally spills a big gulp cup of urine on Lauren.

Flash forward to the present.  Katie just has been dumped, post-coitus, by her handsome-but-dull businessman live-in boyfriend Charlie (James Wolk).  She’s also lost her job and been put on hold for her dream job in publishing.  She needs a place to stay fast, but only has so much of her rich parents’ money to spend on rent.

Jesse comes up with the brilliant idea of sending her to Katie, whose late grandmother’s huge Gramercy Park apartment has just been taken off rent-control and suddenly Katie has to pay triple the rent.  She needs money or a roommate right away, or she too will be on the street.

Faster than you can say, “Can two perky but polar opposite girls share an apartment without driving each other crazy?” they give it a try.  It is hate at first sight, but soon the girls begin to bond.  When Lauren finds out that Katie is working for a service as a phone sex operator, she suggests that she’d make more money being her own boss.  They buy a land line, get a 1-900 number and the money starts pouring in.

And through their new business venture, Lauren learns to loosen up and Katie learns to let other people in.  It turns out that not only is phone sex a rather simple job which makes a ton, but it’s a good way to meet new guys.

When you get down to it, For a Good Time, Call… is a marginally humorous sitcom stretched out into feature length.  Still, Miller must have some pull in Hollywood, because they were able to line up some big names to do absolutely embarrassing cameos as masturbating clients – including Ken Marino, Martha MacIsaac, Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen.

Despite a late-ish plot twist that is much too absurd to believe, and a make-up scene that is annoyingly obviously “ironically” using phone sex terms, the movie is sort of harmlessly stimulating, if a tiny bit embarrassing.

Kind of like phone sex.

Alex Diamond

Copyright ©2012 All rights reserved. Posted: September 5, 2012.

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