For a Good Time, Call… Director: Jamie Travis
Writers: Lauren Miller, Katie Anne Naylon
Starring: Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen, Justin Long, Mimi Rogers, Nia Vardalos, Mark Webber, James Wolk
Rated R | 86 Minutes
Release Date: Friday, September 14, 2012
Disclaimer: So, I know this kind of defeats the purpose of writing a review, to just blurt this out upfront, but I can’t control myself. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It’s a well-written comedy by two young women, directed by an up-and-coming filmmaker with some great performances – and it’s incredibly funny.
For a Good Time, Call… might be this year’s Bridesmaids, a raunchy, heartfelt comedy in the stylings of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
OK, now that I’ve got that out of the way, For a Good Time, Call… is directed by Jamie Travis from an original screenplay by Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Anne Miller. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is based on Miller and Naylon’s real-life experiences as college roommates.
You’ve probably seen Lauren Anne Miller before. She’s appeared in several films in supporting roles, including Superbad, Zack and Miri Make A Porno, Observe and Report, and 50/50. I know what you’re saying, “Wait, those are all movies that feature Seth Rogen, what a weird coincidence!” It’s no coincidence. Miller has been dating Rogen since 2004, and they recently got hitched – proving that even disgustingly funny, awkward guys can find true love.
Like Rogen, who has often written scripts based on his own experiences (Superbad), Miller is essentially playing herself in For a Good Time, Call…, a reserved, goodie-goodie overachiever who has her entire life meticulously planned out. Everything falls apart, however, when her blowhard boyfriend Charlie (James Wolk) breaks up with her for being boring and simple.
If that wasn’t enough, Lauren just lost her job and might have to pack it up and move back in with her rich, white-bread parents unless she can find a new place in New York City, which is of course, the most expensive place to live on the entire planet.
Enter Katie (Ari Graynor), a free spirit who is about to forfeit a dream residence (as the property is no longer rent-controlled) unless she finds a roommate. The role of Katie was written specifically for Graynor. Miller used her performance in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist as the inspiration for writing the character, and sent Graynor a letter asking her to be involved in the production.
Like Miller, you’ve seen Graynor in numerous films: Whip It, Date Night, Youth in Revolt, The Sitter, and the aforementioned Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. You can also currently see Graynor in Lee Toland Krieger’s indie drama, Celeste & Jesse Forever. Graynor is destined for greatness – and For a Good Time, Call… signifies her arrival as a leading woman.
The girls’ mutual best friend Jesse (Justin Long) has the bright idea that they should room together, even though he knows they’re polar opposites who haven’t spoken since college. But, without options, the two reluctantly agree to a living arrangement.
With nothing in common, Lauren and Katie barely speak to each other – until Lauren discovers that Katie is working as a phone-sex operator. Lauren, being the overachiever she is, sees this as a good business opportunity and offers to help Katie setup her own hotline: 1-900-MMM-HMMM.
Katie schools Lauren in the ways of dirty talk and the girls grow close, becoming best friends forever as they rake in some serious cash with their bangin’ business. Seth Rogen makes a hilarious cameo as a customer who insists his fantasy lovers wear panties, while Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) falls in love with Katie’s over-the-phone persona and wants more than a theoretical hookup.
Director Jamie Travis has built an impressive body of work with his short films The Saddest Boy in the World (2006), The Patterns Trilogy (2005; 2006), and The Armoire (2009). For a Good Time, Call… marks Travis’ feature film debut and seems like a perfect fit for his darkly-comedic sensibilities.
For a Good Time, Call… is right up there with 21 Jump Street and Ted as one of the best comedies of 2012 with great performances by Miller, Graynor, and Justin Long. It’s perfect for a girls’ night out or – a great date night movie that could be suggested by a considerate, caring boyfriend… I’m just sayin’.