Friday, 4 January 2013

[REVIEW] - For A Good Time, Call...

For A Good Time Call...
Director: Jamie Travis
Starring: Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long
Certificate: 18

Run-time: 85 minutes

IN SHORT: I had a good time watching For A Good Time, Call... It's light on plot but the characters feel real and their raunchy exploits make for a fun time.

For A Good Time, Call... is an independently funded film that follows two housemates as they adventure into the potentially lucrative world of phone-sex. After losing her job and boyfriend, Lauren reluctantly moves into a beautiful apartment with former high-school enemy - Katie. Lauren finds it odd that Katie can afford such a place and seeing a stripper pole in the living room further concerns her. One evening, Lauren hears grunting and yelping from Katie's room, so she confronts her. After trying to dodge the subject, Katie finally reveals what her day job is.

Jamie Travis' directorial debut is written by Lauren Miller (who plays Lauren in the film) and the script is her first feature-length too, so the film is a learning curve for everyone involved. Miller's long-term boyfriend is Hollywood slacker himself, Seth Rogen, so that no doubt helped to get For A Good Time, Call... made. For what it is though; a light, slightly crass, politically incorrect comedy, it's a flawed but enjoyable watch.

Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor in For A Good Time
The official tagline of the film describes Katie and Lauren as 'frenemies'.
The two are brought together by the effortlessly camp Jesse, played enthusiastically by Justin Long. In every scene, Jesse is wearing bright pink or aqua blue short shorts. He's the kind of fun-loving person who lives by the mantra - 'You only live once'. Although his persona is entirely stereotypical, I did enjoy Long's role. One problem I had was the reason given for why Katie and Lauren are fierce enemies. Basically, one of them spilled a cup of pee over the other at a house party. Ten years on and it's still a raw subject. Dumb, I know.

The script is frequently let down by generic movie conventions. There's a definite 'rise and fall' structure to the film, like a less violent Scarface. Side-thought: can you imagine Tony Montana operating a phone sex line?! Once the two get over their issues with one-another, the sex-line's popularity and profitability goes through the roof. Inevitably, the girls start feuding again, past wounds get re-opened and they fall out. One of them also falls in love, which puts the sex-line in jeopardy. Don't worry though, there's a happy ending to tie the whole film together. Story-wise, For A Good Time, Call... is unimaginative and by-the-book but there were a few things that kept me watching.

Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor in the bath together
I can get past clunky scripts when there are scenes such as the one above.
1) The energy that both Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor bring to their roles is infectious. They have a great on-screen chemistry that makes the film an effortless watch.
2) Shallow as it may be... they're both attractive girls and watching two attractive girls sexy talk down the phone, create promo's in the bath and pretend to whip eachother, is good fun. There are worse ways to spend 90 minutes!
3) Famous faces cameo as the sleazy men on the other end of the line. These prove to be the comedic highlights of the movie, especially as one of the cameo's is a famous comedy director.

For A Good Time, Call... is a solid, unspectacular but easily watchable movie. Raunchy comedies can often feel desperate in their humour (like Wanderlust and Swinging With the Finkels) but this movie's 18 rating means it doesn't hold back where other movies would. There are some pretty tasteless jokes but then, you're watching a film about a sex hotline, what do you expect?


  1. Nice Review. I like the performances and would love to see these actreses appear in other projects. Find it a bit out of date that these characters would operate a phone sex line and make good money at it, Especially when people can just get free porn on the net

    1. Cheers Vern. Y'know, that didn't really cross my mind but it is quite unrealistic when I think about it.
      The performances make this film. In particular, I'd like to see Ari Graynor in more films




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