Scene It All Before: For A Good Time Call…
There has been a resurgence in funny female led comedies. With stars like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler writing wonderful television, Girls getting critical acclaim on HBO and movies like Bridesmaids it’s the perfect time for women everywhere to capitalize and show what they can do. That is what writer and star Lauren Miller did, she worked alongside her friend Katie Anne Naylon who took her real life experiences as a phone sex operator in college and used that for the basis of two girls growing friendship as they grow their business in New York City. I can actually hear the theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show playing in my head. For A Good Time Call… is a sweet enough movie and tries its best to be raunchy but really flourishes when you see a familiar face.
Miller stars as the uptight Lauren who from the film’s outset is dumped by her boyfriend who she is living with and finds herself needing a place to live. Meanwhile Katie, played by Ari Graynor can no longer afford her apartment by herself. How do we remedy this problem just call in your BFF gay matchmaker, played outstandingly as he always does in this type of role by Justin Long, and boom he solves both problems in one fell swoop. Obviously these two girls hate each other at first but at a running time of a little under 90 minutes we don’t have time to hold grudges.
Overall the movie is a platonic love story about two women. What makes the movie though is the raunchy dirty talk that is sprinkled throughout. The girls are funniest when on the phone talking to their John’s and telling them what they want to hear. While they are great, it’s even better seeing the guys on the other side as they were able to get some really funny cameos. These interactions are laugh out loud funny, and watching these familiar faces really get into it are wonderfully surprising to see in a low budget movie like this. These cameos alongside the performance of Justin Long who stole every scene he was in as the gay best friend were the best parts of the movie.
In order to get one of these big name actors it turns out someone on the cast had to sleep with a big name actor. I talked to Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Katie Naylor and Jamie Travis the cast and crew of For A Good Time Call… And to hear that story, how this movie came to be and what it was like premiering at Sundance click here.
The movie has a rather typical falling out and resolution in the third act and that is when the movie falls flat, especially in the waning moment of the movie which contains so many double-entendres it is laughable. While there are some raunchy parts in the first hour of the movie, nothing is all that dangerous. While there is dirty talk and some toys flaunted around, by today’s standards this just fits the regular mold of today’s comedies. But that doesn’t make it any less funny.
The movie is really charming, and while the hearty laughs probably stop after the hour and then is replaced by a trite conflict and silly resolution throughout it remains cute. Don’t be surprised to be seeing a lot more of Ari Graynor she is a real talent and it comes out through the screen. While not a must see movie, if you need something to clear your mind and be care free for about 90 minutes this is the perfect fluff movie to see. B-