For a Good Time, Call… Review (Kirk Haviland)

For a Good Time, Call…

Starring Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, James Wolk, Mark Webber, Justin Long, Sugar Lyn Beard, Don McManus and Mimi Rogers

Written by Lauren Miller and Katie Anne Naylon

Directed by Jamie Travis

Back in 2002 a raunchy comedy came along that was supposed to be the truth about what women were really like when they got together, this movie was called The Sweetest Thing and starred Cameron Diaz. Going almost exclusively for the raunch, The Sweetest Thing failed to hit big with audiences and critics alike and the ‘chick flick’ seemed to retreat back to the sappy predictable mess it was prior almost overnight. That was until last year’s mega smash Bridesmaids. Now the ladies are back with the raunch in a big way, a prime example being this week’s sex phone operator comedy For a Good Time, Call… from Alliance Films.

The reserved Lauren (Miller) and the irrepressible Katie (Graynor) are polar opposites and past enemies after an unfortunate incident in college. But when Lauren gets dumped by her fiancé and both women come up short on the funds needed to afford their dream New York City apartment, a mutual friend (Long) re-introduces them and they reluctantly agree to attempt to room together. These apartment-mates are irrepressible and cannot see eye to eye on anything until Lauren discovers that Katie is working as a phone-sex operator, and recognizes a good business opportunity that can improve both of their financial situations. But as their business partnership takes off, their budding friendship finds unexpected challenges that threaten to expose the girls’ new careers to Lauren’s ultra conservative parents (McManus and Rogers) and break them up for good.

For a Good Time, Call… is a fun movie. Graynor and Miller are both extremely likeable and endearing onscreen but it’s Graynor who really steals the show here. Her comedic timing and fearless delivery make her the real standout of the lead cast. Also standing out is former YTV VeeJay Sugar Lyn Bard, aka Suga Baby, in a small yet hilarious role as the girls attempt to hire an employee. Co-written by Miller, the script isn’t really heavy on originality as we have seen similar plot devices many times before. But the script does move the story along and allow for what appears to be a lot of improvising from the cast. The cameos in the film also bear this point to be true, and the improvising in those scenes provides some of the film’s funniest segments. Restricting itself to mainly a one apartment shoot for at least 70% of the film, director Travis really doesn’t have the opportunity to play around with camera direction, focusing mainly on the traditional three camera set up we are familiar with, early Kevin Smith films being examples. The result is a bare bones style set up and shoot that resonates with early 90’s indie films, with retro dial pink telephones to boot,  but also remains relevant to 2012.

Ultimately For a Good Time, Call… is a watchable, fun time for both sexes, though clearly aimed at women, that is well beyond the standard chick flick fare we are usually shoveled. For a Good Time, Call… is a recommend.

Till Next Time,

Movie Junkie TO

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