‘For A Good Time, Call…’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 26th, 2014 at 4:08 am,

For a Good Time Call 2012 For A Good Time, Call... Review

For A Good Time, Call… stars ‘seen ‘em somewhere’ actresses Lauren Miller (wife of Seth Rogen) and Ari Graynor (FringeThe Sopranos, Whip It) as Lauren and Katie, two twenty-something girls trying to make it in NYC. A (gross) chance encounter at a college party years before left bad blood between the girls, but when each one finds herself facing a rent crisis, partnering up as roommates becomes a need, instead of a choice.

After a short span of tense co-habitation, Lauren discovers that her free-spirited roommate has a… unique occupation as a phone-sex operator. At first, conservative Lauren wants nothing to do with Katie’s dirty business; however, due to slim job prospects and a feeling of deep insecurity – thanks her ex-boyfriend’s (James Wolk) harsh parting words – Lauren decides it’s time to break out of her goody-two-shoes shell and do something wild: like starting her own sex-line business with Katie. Before long, Lauren finds herself evolving from manager to co-participant in the business, and becoming a happy occupant of ‘planet Katie,’ to boot. But the summer of fun abandon can only last so long before reality comes crashing in again.

Ari Graynor Lauren Miller and Justin Long in For a Good Time Call For A Good Time, Call... Review

When Bridesmaids was released, it was touted in many a headline as being a “bold” statement that female comedians could be as raunchy as their male counterparts, and still manage to be funny and entertaining box office draws. For a Good Time, Call… also accomplishes this feat and is, generally speaking, a hilariously dirty – yet still very modern and charming – tale of female bromance (or “hoemance” according to Urban Dictionary).

It is undeniably a movie that skews more toward younger audiences, since the raunchy sexual humor the girls present is likely to be off-putting to some older (or just uptight) demographics (male and female) who don’t approve of pretty ladies vocally simulating crass sexual behavior for laughs. Miller and Graynor certainly go for the gold in the raunch department, and even though they are only simulating sexual acts through vocal means (instead of physical action and/or nudity), it is somehow more dirty than seeing actual skin. In fact, the few actual sex scenes in the film are very tame by comparison.

Lauren Miler in For a Good Time Call 2012 For A Good Time, Call... Review

Lauren Miler in ‘For a Good Time, Call…’

While there is something smart about the premise – which subtly questions modern woman’s ability to be “empowered” by sex and sexuality - there is also something admittedly anachronistic about the idea of starting a phone-sex line in an era where Internet accessibility has brought pornography out of obscurity and into the mainstream. In other words: the question of “Who still calls a phone-sex hotline?” did occur to me more than a few times (though that might be saying more about me. But I digress…). At it’s core, however, For a Good Time, Call… is a wonderful (and disarmingly girlie) tale of female friendship, which Miller co-wrote with newcomer Katie Anne Naylon. The screenwriters manage to weave in one or two developments that will likely surprise, adding depth and freshness to what are otherwise more cliched and generic narrative arcs.

Short film/documentary director Jamie Travis isn’t working with much – the majority of the film is set in one location – but his skills for framing, mis-en-scene and cinematography do make this stripped-down indie comedy look like something polished and pretty. Most of the film rests on the shoulders of Miller and Graynor, who prove to be two very charismatic leads, providing great chemistry and impressive comedic timing – all while maintaining charming, sexy, and wholly watchable onscreen personas.

Ari Graynor in For a Good Time Call For A Good Time, Call... Review

Ari Graynor teaches phone-sex education in ‘For a Good Time, Call…’

Travis also manages to walk a pretty impressive tonal tightrope: the film doesn’t shy away from confronting the hard eventualities of the girls’ “master plan,” but it never exploits its female leads in any titillating fashion, either. While at times uncomfortable, it’s never outright disturbing; though often gross in its humor, it’s never cheap or outright offensive (in either a traditional or feminist sense). Not an easy feat to pull off.

Aside from the two breakout leads, For a Good Time, Call… is assisted by some wonderful cameos from familiar actors. Justin Long (Die Hard 4) adds comedic relief as Jesse, the mutual gay friend that brings Katie and Lauren together; Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) shows up in several scenes as a publishing exec who likes to keep things real; Mimi Rogers (Austin Powers) and Don McManus (Boston Legal) play Lauren’s oddball parents, who have a penchant for drop-ins at the worst moments; Sugar Lyn Beard (50/50) is hilarious as a squeaky-voiced (and filthy talking) phone operator; while comedians like Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith have hilarious cameos as callers of the girls’ hotline, “1-800-MMM-HMMM.”

Mimi Rogers and Don McManus in For a Good Time Call For A Good Time, Call... Review

Mimi Rogers and Don McManus in ‘For a Good Time, Call…’

In the end, this film is arguably funnier female raunch comedy than Bridesmaids, and a better juxtaposition of  budding love and the often odd/awkward sex industry than Zack and Miri Make a Porno managed to be. The two charmingly funny leads and smart, timely dialogue are what make the film work; bottom line, calling upon this comedy flick will definitely result in a good time.

For a Good Time, Call… is now playing in limited theatrical release; it will expand to additional theaters on September 7th, 14th, and 21st. Check your local listings. The movie is Rated R for strong sexual content throughout, language and some drug use.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5
(Excellent)

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  1. 4 out of 5?i was expecting this to be horrible, but looks like i may have to seek this out. so far i have agreed with most of your reviews kofi, (TDKR being the only exception that comes to mind.) so hears hoping this finds it’s way to louisville. if not, will just get the BD.

    • Just curious what did you think of dkr? I’m just curious on it opinion no intentions on arguing

      • well, i wont go into my whole rant, so let’s just say, for me, it was the weakest of the 3. after a couple of viewings, i think nolan got lazy with the story telling. some of the story was completely ridiculous, especially for a film that’s supposed to be grounded in reality and “transcends the typical comic book movie”.
        i shall now don my flame resistant coat. :)

  2. Am I the only one who didn’t like Bridesmaids that much? Granted most of it is because I don’t find Kirsten Wiig funny, but still the movie wasn’t that good.

    I would like to see a girl-comedy in this vein that doesn’t involve some form of romanticism/sex. (Speaking as a woman), I would like to see some kind of adventure-comedy in a way like The Hangover I suppose that had a strong female cast.

    I digress though I’ll try to catch this film at some point if it’s as good as I’ve heard it is.

  3. I saw this over the weekend with my girlfriend and I have to say it was amazing. Really funny, great characters, good depth to the story, and it never let up on the laughs. It WAS very girlie but I think it added a realness to the main characters’ relationship that made everything that much better. Worth checking out for sure; with or without the girlfriend.

  4. So amazing a film, that it got 6 comments,…wow.. cant wait to rent this one in 2074

  5. I watched this last night (it was on late night on showtime or something) and must say while I anticipated a terrible movie I found it very funny with some great cameos from A list actors. Worth watching if you want a silly comedy.