For a Good Time, Call… is raunchy in talk, not deed
Starring Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller. Rated 18A.
For a farce about female friendship that pretty much stays a farce about female friendship—as opposed to what gals do until guys come along—For a Good Time, Call… still manages to exert some charm despite the rather low bar it sets for humour.
The breezy effort stars Lauren Miller—who had bits in bromantic comedies like Superbad and 50/50 and is married to Seth Rogen—here making a notably crass appearance in passing. More crucially, Miller wrote this with best pal Katie Anne Naylon, and she plays someone called Lauren, although the corresponding Katie character is played by Ari Graynor. We’re shown why the two became frenemies in college and why they end up stuck together in the latter’s rent-controlled New York City apartment.
The subsequent leap of faith, presumably not autobiographical, sees the strait-laced, dark-haired Lauren, who wants to work in publishing, join skankish, blond Katie in a phone-sex operation that soon has them rolling in rent money. One way to tell this is not based on personal history is that anyone who had been there would know that a 1-800 number is exactly what you don’t want in a by-the-minute operation.
Plot logic is not a central concern to the filmmakers, which is somewhat surprising, given that this is the feature debut for former Vancouverite Jamie Travis, whose myth-infused shorts boasted darker psychology and better lighting. Still, this particular Good Time—raunchy in talk, not deed—is sold by the cast, which also includes Mimi Rogers as Lauren’s upper-crust mother, Nia Vardalos as a tart-tongued publisher, and Justin Long as the requisite gay best friend (and stand-in for the director). A couple of scenes show Long simply riffing in character, and they generously demonstrate the perils of improvisation.
Watch the trailer for For a Good Time, Call….