DVD Review - For a Good Time, Call
|Ari Graynor (left), Justin Long (middle) and|
Lauren Anne Miller in "For a Good Time, Call"
Lauren Anne Miller stars as Lauren, a young woman in New York City who works and has a boyfriend. Her boyfriend is Charlie, played by James Wolk (Shameless and Political Animals). He runs off to Italy for work and some play, but before he does, he tells her that she's boring. Ari Graynor co-stars as Katie, another young woman in Manhattan who doesn't have a boyfriend. She lives in the apartment of her recently deceased grandmother but Katie has never been accused of being boring, exemplified by the fact that she has a stripper pole in her apartment.
Once Lauren's boyfriend leaves, she loses her job and can't afford to live by herself. Once Katie's grandmother dies, she can't afford her apartment. Lauren and Katie's mutual gay friend, Jesse, played by Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers and Drag Me to Hell), suggests that because of their financial troubles that the two should live together in Katie's apartment. There is a resistance between the two because there's some bad history that stems to their days in college.
Lauren quickly learns that Katie works for a phone sex line. Lauren suggests that Katie turn it into her own business, which she does with Lauren as the manager. To overcome her boring label, Lauren decides to not simply manage but also do phone sex as well. All of the phone sex is played for laughs and it is amusing, but the only time it ever made actually me laugh was during the scene with Seth Rogen, and it was only because Rogen really takes command of it. It had nothing to do with what the two women were doing.
The only other time that I thought the phone sex was funny was when the filmmakers introduce the character of Krissy, played by Sugar Lyn Beard. She steals her scenes with them, as she's setup to do, but I would rather have followed her than Lauren and Katie. There's an interesting dichotomy where Lauren has to let go of her boyfriend, while Katie has to let a boyfriend in. She has a potential boyfriend in one of her phone sex clients, Sean, played by Mark Webber (Storytelling and Winter Solstice).
The filmmakers try to do something with Lauren's parents, Adele and Scott, played respectively by Mimi Rogers and Don McManus. I see what they were trying to do, but it fell flat. The film had a great energy at the beginning, particularly the opening with Charlie, and the co-mingling by Jesse, but then things slow down and the momentum goes. There are two, brief bright spots in Seth Rogen and Sugar Lyn Beard, but those spots quickly fade until the final gag in the final five minutes.
I enjoy that it's a film about the friendship between two young modern women. Graynor is great. Miller is not as much. All of the other guys are memorable if only in a few scenes, more so than the women, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It might not be a comedy but a better film about phone sex is Easier With Practice (2010). A better film about female friendship would be Ghost World (2001).
Three Stars out of Five.
Rated R for strong sexual content throughout, language and some drug use.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 27 mins.