For A Good Time, Call ...
Directed by: Jamie Travis Cast: Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long, Mark Webber, Nia Vardalos Running Time: 1 hr 26 mins Rating: R Release Date: August 31, 2012 (Chicago)
PLOT: Katie (Graynor) and Lauren (Miller) are two “frenemies” economically forced to live together in a New York apartment. When push comes to shove, they decide to work together to start a phone sex hot line.
WHO'S IT FOR? The less raunchy comedies you have seen, the better. If you feel pretty comfortable with perverted humor, this phone sex comedy isn't going to entertain you all that much.
Girls just wanna start a phone sex business in the not-so alluring For A Good Time, Call ..., a comedy that focuses on female friendships (great, more of this please!) but also reminds us that boring raunchiness certainly isn't exclusive to boy's club movies either. The film's phone sex humor relies unsuccessfully on its dialogue's shock potential, as it uses the type of X-rated sexual phrases one wouldn't initially expect to be said by a young lady like Lauren, while laying on her bed in such a vibrant bedroom. That being said, such supposedly bold humor often falls onto bored ears. It's vulgarity just for the sake of being vulgar, regardless as to who says it, or what bright color their room is.
Sans much of the phone sex, For A Good Time, Call ... is a decent story about two young ladies who put the friendliness back in the term I use with great shame, "frenemy." Though both Graynor and Miller pay too much attention to filling in a type (Graynor the free-spirit, Miller the prissy one) than daring to do something new, they give the center unusual coupling the good kind of off-balance. In any movie, whether it be about construction workers, superhero cape designers, or fast food restaurant mascots, this duo's chemistry would clash and/or match in successful ways.
Breezy perversion isn't the only concept that this script stumbles to comically toy with. There's also a very gay, very cliché character played by Justin Long, who lisp riffs on dull stereotypes to no effect. And then there are Lauren's WASP-y parents, who are weakly included in the script to provide dumb cover-up situations concerning Lauren trying to hide evidence of her new job choice. However, Nia Vardalos comes out of here with a kind-of funny cameo as a more serious employer for Lauren. Go figure.
For A Good Time doesn't delve into why phone sex is a preferred method of casual intimacy for some people (especially in 2012 ... ?), which is fine. However, the script is a little giggly worth when presenting examples of the ridiculousness behind phone sex, as seen in the male customers who use their hotline while at work. It's something that could be used more, (especially if more cameos were used), while still maintaining the center of the film to be the unlikely friendship of Lauren and Katie. Showing males make perverted clowns of themselves in a predominantly female movie might be an easy gag, but it's surely a more-rounded tactic than relying on the shock weight of a sexual phrase.
This comedy's general perspective is the direct offspring of its two main characters. The film's brashness flirts too much with being desperate, like Graynor's flamboyant Katie, who plays That Friend of Yours Who Laughs Loudly To Let You Know They're Laughing. At the same time, For A Good Time is generically sweet & innocent like Miller's Lauren, who decides to take on this strange venture to primarily shock herself. So, there it is. For A Good Time, Call ... is a movie that just can't believe what came out of its mouth, and then loudly laughs with itself assuming you think it's funny too.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10