Happiness, at least in Canadian director Jamie Travis’ fun, fizzy, summer-ending comedy For A Good Time, Call, is a classic pink desk phone and two women who know how to talk dirty into it.
Luckily, Travis has two actresses up to the outrageous task in Ari Graynor and co-star and co-writer Lauren Anne Miller.
Lauren (Miller) and Katie (Graynor) are Odd Couple roommates forced to move in with each other out of financial necessity.
Katie refuses to lose her grandmother’s prized apartment overlooking Gramercy Park and Lauren wants to remain living in Manhattan despite recently losing her job.
All the strange noises coming out of Katie’s bedroom suddenly makes sense when Lauren learns that her roommate is working part-time as a phone sex operator. Desperate for money, Lauren partners with Katie to set up their own phone sex line and before long business is booming.
Travis makes his feature-length directing debut after the acclaimed 2010 Sundance Film Festival short The Armoire and it’s a spanking comedy breakout thanks to a lightning fast pace and gags that hit all of their comic marks.
Girls-acting-badly comedies continue to be in vogue post-Bridesmaids but For A Good Time, Call rises above lackluster competitors like Bachelorette.
Lauren Anne Miller is hilarious as the straight arrow girl who needs to let loose after being dumped by her boyfriend and accused of being boring. It’s like she has something to prove.
Ari Graynor, who’s also on-screen in the comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, is perfectly loud and vivacious as Katie. Still, one of the film’s many sweet surprises is Katie’s secret shy side; something of a shock considering she has a stripper pole in the apartment.
A parade of male phone sex customers adds to the fun thanks to silly turns by Seth Rogen, who also happens to be Miller’s real-life husband, Kevin Smith and Mark Webber as the sex line’s most frequent customer.
Justin Long is flame-on outrageous as the mutual friend who convinces Lauren and Katie to patch up past differences and become roommates, although with a little less of a Single White Female vibe.
In terms of gross-out gags, For A Good Time, Call is mild compared to Bridesmaids and Bachelorette. After all, Travis treats the pink desk phone like a supporting character straight out of a Doris Day comedy. Pillow Talk anyone?
Outside the frequent sex toy jokes and the blushing dialogue, Travis builds a compelling friendship tale to ground the sex talk. After all, a sex toy is only as funny as the women holding it.
Distributor: Focus Features
Cast: Ari Graynor, Lauren Anne Miller, James Wolk Nia Vardalos, Mark Webber and Justin Long
Director: Jamie Travis
Screenwriter: Katie Anne Naylon, Lauren Anne Miller
Cinematographer: James Laxton
Editor: Evan Henke
Producers: AdScott Pictures
Running Time: 86 minutes
Rating: Rated R
Release Date: August 31, 2012