For a Good Time, Call …
Lauren Powell (Lauren Miller, who also co-wrote the screenplay) is living her New York dream: A perfect apartment, a closet full of cute yet conservative clothes, a career in publishing and a dreamy boyfriend.
As usually happens in movies like this, Lauren loses it all inside of a week. Except she gets to keep the clothes. Lonely, jobless and in need of a place to stay, Lauren turns to her best friend Jesse (Justin Long: New Girl). Jesse hooks prim Lauren up with her nemesis, Katie (Ari Graynor: Celeste and Jesse Forever), a former party girl who accidentally peed on Lauren at a college kegger. Lauren’s held a grudge, and the girls haven’t talked since freshman year.
Neither lady is happy with the arrangement, but both need a roommate and, well, the apartment is gorgeous. While investigating odd noises coming from Katie’s room, Lauren discovers the main source of her roommate’s income: Katie is a premiere phone sex operator.
At first disgusted, Lauren does some calculations and discovers that Katie could earn quadruple what she makes by starting her own erotic call company. The two make a deal: Lauren will handle the business, Katie will, ahem, handle the customers. They’ll split the profits.
A few months and a lot of salacious dialog later, the women are best friends and mini-moguls in the sex industry. Katie has become more stable and Lauren has let her hair down. Now that Lauren has all the money in the world and a spicier sense of self, she must choose whether to resume her vanilla life or embrace her inner vixen. Want to know what happens? You’ll have to pay to find out.
Coming on the heels of other successfully raunchy female-led comedies like Bridesmaids, For a Good Time, Call … is a funny, flawed film with so much filthy dialog it makes The Hangover look mundane.
The film does love a good cliché. Lauren is an uptight brunette with high collars and her hair in prim braids. Katie is a wild-haired blonde with skin-tight clothes and a foul mouth. The girls’ only other friend, it seems, is a mildly flamboyant gay man, because in these films, it is a law that all single women living in New York City must have a gay best friend who is played for laughs by a straight actor.
It’s also worth noting that the movie presents phone sex work as a lucrative career. If you could really rake in the dough doing the work the girls do, I have a feeling land lines would come back in style in this economy.
The lead performers save the movie from devolving into utter silliness. Miller, in her screen debut, uses expressive eyes and a wry wit to keep her character from becoming an insufferable nag. Graynor steals the movie as the bratty, ditzy Katie. Though the character is fairly one-note, Graynor is able to use physical comedy and her petulant expression to make Katie seem like a lost woman who uses her sexuality and flighty nature as a shield against the world.
Though the plot strains credibility, the relationship between Lauren and Katie is funny and believable. The movie, however, is only for those with no problem viewing eye-popping sex toys, hearing colorful language and celebrating the sisterhood of sex workers. For a Good Time, Call … might not be worth $4.99 a minute, but it’s worth $10 for an hour and a half of bawdy girl power.