For a Good Time, Call…: Dirty Talk and Female Friendship For The Win

will admit, I had my misgivings about For a Good Time, Call…. Although I was excited to see the trailer before Magic Mike back in June, as it got closer to the release date, I got a little skeptical.
Would this be aBridesmaids (2011) knock off? Would the film end with the girls giving up the phone sex business due to it being “dirty?” Would they wind up fighting over a man? Oh look, Lauren Miller is a brunette in a classic dress and Ari Graynor is a blonde in a leopard print dress–are they going to do theBetty and Veronica thing? Luckily, after seeing it this past Wednesday, I was very satisfied.

For A Good Time, Call… is very raunchy. There’s no way around it. However, it istastefully raunchy (if there is such a thing.) The talk is dirty, the visuals, not so much. While they depict men climaxing to our heroine’s voices, there is no, uh, real visual evidence. The women keep their clothes on, and nobody defecates in a sink. This is something I appreciated as a film with this subject matter could have very easily done cheap sight gags involving body fluid, but given that there was a lot of dirty talk, there really was no need for the, uh, visual aids. Props to the writers and producers for not going that route.

The best part of this film for me was the friendship between reserved Lauren (Lauren Miller, also co-writer and executive producer) and party girl Katie (Ari Graynor, also executive producer.) Although the girls started out as enemies thanks to a college incident involving pee in a cup and a new car, it avoided the Bride Wars (2009) route of the women being mean to each other just for the sake of being mean to each other. Lauren and Katie make a geniune effort to be civilized roommates given that they’re both in a predicament–Lauren got dumped and kicked out of her apartment and fired from her job on top of everything else; Katie’s on the verge of eviction as her building is no longer rent controlled. When Lauren stumbles upon Katie’s business, while shocked, she doesn’t judge Katie for panting and moaning and telling customers that their “dick is so huge, it’s scaring me!” over the phone–she encourages Katie to go into business for herself, so she can make a better profit than what the company she is working for is giving her, and helps her out by first doing billing, then becoming a second operator. The women bond over this, and learn things about each other and themselves. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is very sweet and almost well done–much like other female friendship movies, there is a big fight, but the resolution is bit off, especially as it takes place so close to the end, the timing is bit wonky. There’s also a very small subplot involving Lauren getting another job outside of the phone sex line that disappears and reappears at the end, which makes me wonder if the film was supposed to be a bit longer, but got cut in fear of people losing interest after so long and thus, everything got crammed into the last twenty minutes.

As for the men in this movie, it’s a healthy representation–they’re not ornamental like inBridesmaids, but they don’t take over the film. You have three “main” guys–the girls’ mutual friend Jesse (Justin Long,) Lauren’s ex, Charlie (James Wolk) and Katie’s client turned love interest, Sean (Mark Webber.) They fill certain roles, sure–Jesse’s comic relief, Charlie is an antagonist (he tells Lauren he’s dumping her because she’s boring, which made my eye twitch a bit. How rude!) and Sean is a love interest–but they’re filled well. The performances of Long, Wolk and Webber make them work, and give what could have been flat roles great personality.

I recommend this film as girl’s night out film: it’s quick, it’s raunchy, and it’s fun. It probably won’t win any Oscars or the same accolades as Bridesmaids (although I do hope to see Ari Graynor in more films. I completely agree with other reviewers who loved her. Lauren Miller exceeded my expectations, but Ari Graynor really stole the show.) but it’s a good time and will make you appreciate your friends. I texted my best friend after my showing!

So, LivLunatics, have any of you been able to see For a Good Time, Call…? What did you think? Was it too raunchy, not raunchy enough? What did you make of Katie and Lauren’s friendship? Who was your favorite cameo? For those not in major cities, do you plan to see this if it gets a wide release?

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