‘For a Good Time, Call …’ proves R-rated female comedies deliver

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

Movie: “For a Good Time, Call…”

Rated: R

In theaters: Sept. 7

Pitchforks: 4 out of 5

 

The plight of the poor college student is nothing new, but what about when post-grad plans don’t go exactly as planned? There’s always phone sex. At least, that’s what two enterprising young women turn to in “For a Good Time, Call …”

Prim and proper Lauren (Lauren Miller) faces homelessness when her cohabitating boyfriend decides to spend the summer working in Italy and put their relationship on hold. At the same time, Katie (Ari Graynor) is struggling to afford her grandmother’s rent-controlled apartment on the Upper East Side after her death. Their mutual friend, Jesse (Justin Long), proposes that Lauren move in with Katie.

The solution sounds simple enough, but is marred by the fact that the two are bitter enemies, the result of a ride home from a college party gone extremely wrong, where Katie’s urine inexplicably ended up all over Lauren and the interior of her car.

Jesse cautions that the two are going to end up “homeless over a f-cking party foul” unless they put their differences aside, and so the two reluctantly agree to the arrangement.

While Lauren searches for a new job at a publishing company, Katie holds down part-time gigs at a nail salon, a Chinese restaurant and at a phone sex hotline, which is revealed when Lauren walks in on Katie jumping up and down on her bed in the midst of a very loud and fake orgasm.

Lauren convinces Katie she’d make more money establishing her own line, a business partnership forms and a friendship follows.

Based on a true story, “For a Good Time, Call…” debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Miller co-wrote the script with her college roommate, Katie Ann Naylon, who operated a phone sex hotline out of her freshman dorm room at Florida State University.

The film follows where “Bridesmaids” left off, paving the path even further for female-centric R-rated comedies that are written by women and showcase the same inappropriate and bawdy humor that is often confined to “bro” films.

Like “Bridesmaids,” romance takes a backseat to the friendship between the two women and the antics and hilarity that ensues.

The plot offers an enjoyable, if not entirely original, development of its characters. Lauren loosens up and joins the phone sex hotline, Katie learns to be as open in real life as her phone persona.

The writing is sharp and witty as it is full of puns and senseless banter. A cameo from Miller’s husband, Seth Rogen, as an airline pilot calling 1-800-MMM-HMMM and Long’s supporting role give the film an A-list endorsement.

“For a Good Time, Call…” is funny and lighthearted. It accurately displays female friendship and proves that girls can be just as raunchy as boys — without sacrificing cleverness and good acting.

 

Reach the reporter at jrpallas@asu.edu