A Raunchy Feminine Bromance: All For a Good Time, Call.
This was the official website for the 2012 comedy movie, All For a Good Time, Call...a feminine bromance, funny in a raunchy and silly way, with some tender moments of love and friendship.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other outside resources.
The reserved Lauren and the irrepressible Katie are polar opposites... and past enemies. But when both come up short on the funds needed to afford their dream New York City apartment a mutual friend re-introduces them and they reluctantly agree to room together. These apartment-mates have nothing in common - until Lauren discovers that Katie is working as a phone-sex operator, and recognizes a good business opportunity. But as their business partnership takes off, their newfound friendship finds unexpected challenges that may leave them both, as they say, hanging on the telephone. -- (C) Focus
Rating: R (for strong sexual content throughout, language and some drug use)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Directed By: Jamie Travis
Written By: Katie Anne Naylon, Lauren Miller
In Theaters: Aug 31, 2012 limited
On Disc/Streaming: Feb 18, 2013
Runtime: 85 minutes
For a Good Time, Call... Official Trailer #1 (2012) -
TOMATOMETER Critics 56% |Audience 53%
For a Good Time, Call... (United States, 2012)
September 07, 2012
A movie review by James Berardinelli
For a Good Time, Call... offers an enjoyable, if ultimately forgettable, 90 minutes. A fusion of the suddenly popular "girls behaving badly" subgenre with the female version of the so-called "bromance," it offers plenty of laughs and goodwill. Unfortunately, the basic storyline is pure sit-com with a contrived set-up and a quick, facile resolution. Although the narrative bar is necessarily lower for comedies than for more serious endeavors, a desire on the part of the filmmakers for this movie to evidence a satisfying, dramatic element is at least partially undercut by the way things begin and end.
The film, directed by Jamie Travis from a screenplay by Katie Anne Naylon and co-star Lauren Anne Miller, showcases an old-fashioned '90s indie style. The look is clean and simple, the sets are limited (with a majority of the action taking place inside an apartment), the dialogue is brisk, and there are an abundance of cameos by recognizable actors. The biggest problem is the ending, which is not only forced but tries too hard to be clever with double-entendre laden lines. Okay, we understand that the movie has fun inserting the platonic friendship of two straight women into a standard-order romantic comedy plot; there's no need to overemphasize it with dialogue that would have been at home in an R-rated episode of Three's Company.
At college, strait-laced Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and party girl Katie (Ari Graynor) weren't exactly best friends. In fact, after an unfortunate incident involving a Styrofoam cup full of pee, they didn't want anything to do with one another. Ten years later, in a time of mutual need, their friend, Jesse (Justin Long), forces a reunion. After a painful breakup, Lauren needs to find a place to live. Meanwhile, Katie can no longer afford her Gramercy Park apartment once its rent control status has been revoked. So the two best enemies become roomies. After Lauren loses her job, she and Katie decide to go into business together - as phone sex operators. The business model is simple and lucrative, and soon meeting the rent is no problem. As Lauren teaches Katie how to run a successful business and Katie helps Lauren shed her inhibitions, they bond and become friends.
There are times when For a Good Time, Call... seems stuck in a time warp. The phone sex business, hot in the '80s and '90s, has cooled considerably in the years since, supplanted in large part by computer sex of all varieties. The movie might have worked better as a period piece but it's clearly intended to be happening circa 2012. Many of the phone sex scenes are hilarious, especially those featuring Kevin Smith as a naughty cabbie (the punch line is great) and Seth Rogen as an airplane pilot looking for a threesome. Much of the comedy, as one would expect, is rau nchy and sex-based but I found it to be more consistently funny than the content of Bridesmaids, for example.
I found some of the product placements in the film to be rather inventive in the ways the director chose to show them. For instance: did you notice the paper towels and dispensers that were painted pink and seen in a umber of different shots. My brother who works for an e commerce site that sells janitorial supplies recognized the brands. The San Jamar T950 Element Lever Operated Roll Towel Dispenser is a very distinctive design with the front cover being a purple (Pearl Black) color. In the film it was pink, as were all the othe San Jamar models that were seen. My brother counted 6 different models- all in pink. A great placement for San Jamar, I must say. See if you can spot them.
For a Good Time, Call... clearly wants us to become invested in the relationship that develops between the two leads, but that only works to a degree. The chemistry between Lauren Anne Miller and Ari Graynor is fickle - some scenes are effective, others are not. We probably would have benefitted with more scenes of the two having fun together. The short running time demands that things move too quickly and the ending is muddled and confusing. Also unsatisfying is Katie's relationship with a caller (Mark Webber) that could have been strengthened by more screen time. The obligatory "break up" between Lauren and Katie drips with artifice.
Miller and Graynor clearly had a lot of fun making this movie, and it shows. Director Jamie Travis stands back and lets them play off one another and, when mandatory plot points don't interfere with their interaction, the result is infectious. The film's attempts to satirize the whole bromance/romantic comedy genre might have worked better with a more polished screenplay. There are times when For a Good Time, Call... suffers from an identity crisis. And if the most artificial elements are intended to be satirical, they are not well conveyed as such. The film is worth seeing for the humor and for its high level of energy, but it falls short of being the "complete package." It's probably a better pick for home viewing than a trip to a theater.
For a Good Time, Call...
*** By: Tom Huddleston
Posted:Tuesday February 26 2013
This scrappy female-fronted mainstream comedy was savaged by US critics, but it’s hard to see why. Sure, it’s not out to reinvent the wheel, but the script is witty, the direction sharp and the leads very likeable. Comedienne Ari Graynor and co-writer Lauren Miller play Kate and Lauren, a pair of struggling New York flatmates who supplement their meagre earnings with a phone sex line. What follows are sisterly bonding, romantic misadventures and lashings of dirty talk.
The film’s strength is its depiction of female friendships. Taking its cue from the likes of ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘For a Good Time, Call...’ balances bad taste gags (mainly in the form of diverting but unnecessary celebrity cameos) with a warm-hearted depiction of platonic love. And perhaps it’s this surface similarity to ‘Bridesmaids’ which got critics’ backs up. But considering the number of interchangeable comedies about the bonding experiences of immature males, such objections feel hypocritical.
Bawdy Phone Sex Comedy
*** J. Olson
In a post-“Bridesmaids” world, the ensuing wave of gross-out films starring female leads is inevitably starting to wash up into theaters. In the summer of 2011, “Bridesmaids” snuggled up to the stereotype that women aren’t funny – or at least not in the same way as men – and beat it to a pulp. The film’s inspired, hilarious weirdness gave that particular adage two black eyes and a neck brace. The nearly $300 million worldwide box office suggested that it was lightning in a bottle, but executives’ eyes lit up with dollar bill signs, as if out of an old Looney Tunes cartoon. Kristen Wiig was immediately deemed a movie star (the jury’s still out) and Melissa McCarthy was nominated for an Oscar. It’s hard to blame Hollywood for getting over-excited.
“For A Good Time, Call…” is one of the first films to follow in the wake of “Bridesmaids,” following the Apatow model of “50% raunchy, 50% sweet.” What it doesn’t have, however, is a sharp screenplay or any sense of what to do with its characters. It has nothing in particular to say, apart from reheated comments on the nature of friendship (which “Bridesmaids” did much better) and the first half of the film isn’t very funny. When the funniest scene in a comedy is a sight gag involving Kevin Smith, you might be in dangerous waters.
Fortunately, co-lead Ari Graynor gives the sort of breakout performance that the film requires. She stars as Katie, the quintessential mid-20s party girl who secretly makes a living as a phone sex operator. Her reluctant roommate (the two have a bad history), the tightly wound Lauren (played by co-writer Lauren Anne Miller), has no choice but to live with Katie because neither can afford rent in their neighborhood. Lauren finds out about Katie’s business and becomes intrigued, slowly becoming involved. The phone sex angle is unusual because there’s very little sexual content onscreen, but the language is very graphic and the R-rating is well-deserved.
Graynor owns every scene she’s in, while Miller (Seth Rogen’s real-life fiancée – yes, he makes a cameo) is uninteresting and lacks any discernible screen presence. What makes Katie so appealing is that there’s more to her character than we initially think, which is revealed methodically over the course of the film. Graynor possesses a go-for-broke sensibility that allows the audience to really connect with her and she has a masterful grip on the line between airhead and genius. Lauren’s far-fetched transformation doesn’t ring true and only muddies the message of the film.
Justin Long plays the mutual friend that re-introduces the pair and he’s classically misused. Given the right material, Long can be very funny, but when given free reign and far too much screen time, it’s a chore to watch him. It’s a very broad role – the character is essentially an excuse for a tornado of gay jokes – and he’s borderline cringe-inducing at times. Mark Webber is on hand as Katie’s love interest, Sean, which might be more palatable if he wasn’t a customer of hers. It’s an uncomfortable dynamic and the filmmakers made an even stranger choice in playing it ambiguously.
“For A Good Time, Call…” is an adequate comedy for grown-ups, mostly because Ari Graynor’s performance is too likable to dismiss the film as a whole. Other than ramping up the filthiness within its genre, the film doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s occasionally funny and charming and probably worth a matinee if you like your chick flicks as profane as possible. To call a movie “airy” and “slight” is a backhanded compliment at best, but in reference to such an inconsequential and inconsistent piece, “not bad” is as much of an endorsement as I can give it.
RottenTomatoes AUDIENCE REVIEWS
***** Elisa H
December 15, 2012
I wondering if I could do the same thing and make profits?
**** Katie B
December 13, 2012
Very funny. Got a lot of good laughs out of this movie.
**½ Reini U
December 8, 2012
I found Lauren Miller sexy and refreshing and the Bette Midler lookalike overhyped.
**** Diana G
December 3, 2012
Cute movie about real friendship :)
December 3, 2012
The movie was raunchy and funny. I like the fact it was 2 girls being so raunchy with the jokes while still being funny. I would recommend this movie.
***** Sheena H
December 2, 2012
Loved, loved, loved this movie!! I laughed 100 times!!
**** Renee K
December 2, 2012
For a fun and sweet chick flick, watch...
** ½ Brian L
December 2, 2012
The setup is kind of ridiculous, but the girls are good (and there's Justin Long playing one of his usually crazy but funny supporting characters) and the movie is fun.
**** Kyle K
December 1, 2012
Pretty funny, typical girl movie. I like ari graynor.
****½ Paul H
December 1, 2012
A chick flick that made me laugh out loud several times. Some of the calling customers were a surprise and I doubled over laughing.
***** Alexandra H
November 30, 2012
Was awesome, I loved it. Shows that the most unexpectable friendships can blossom in the most uncommon situations.
**** Zachary F
November 29, 2012
this movie is sooo funny
November 29, 2012
a fun, crude, and hilarious comedy
two girl roomates formulate a plan to make their own sex hotline in order to make ends meet
hijinks and raw laughs ensue between two very different people who embrace their sexuality via telephone
the performances from both Graynor and Miller are pretty damn fun to watch
the dialogue is insanely funny and gratuitous
there's a very strange cameo in here too by Nia Vardalos
Justin Long adds a nice touch being the supporting gay best friend mentoring these two girls
it's just very awkwardly humorous listening to these people talk in this kind of film, there's interestingly no actual sex happening on screen, no boobs, no ass, no exposed body parts
the plot mainly focuses on the bonding relationship bewteen the two leads which is a good break from the usual norm we're used to
I can't help but feel though that the filmmakers didn't have anything left at the end, some of it felt unfinished and unresolved
for all those problems, 'For A Good Time, Call..' is another one of those indie flicks that just lets loose and has some fun while doing it
** ½ Thomas W
November 28, 2012
The "women can be rauchy too!" genre is already beginning to wear thin and it is films like For a Good Time, Call that we have to thank for that. Having said that, For a Good Time is still a decent movie albeit disgusting, crude and gross at times -- it just isn't anywhere equal to being another Bridesmaids as its story is weaker, it isn't as well written and the cast isn't as great. I did find myself laughing out loud a few times at what some of these girls would say; but there is too much of the trying-to-push-the-limits-of-decency, unfunny dialogue here. Two girls -- mutual enemies for a hilarious reason -- become roommates in a New York City highrise apartment as one can no longer afford it on her own. Katie (Ari Graynor - "Fringe", Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Mystic River) allows friend-of-a-friend Lauren (Lauren Miller - 50/50, Superbad) to live with her ... and sparks fly (in a bad way) as Lauren is a prudish stuck-up and Katie is a free-spirited, talking tart. To make ends meet, that "talker" is a phone sex operator ... which opens the story up for all kinds of dialogue (some funny and some not-so-funny). What makes the movie end up working, is that it is an opposites attract buddy comedy (yes -- predictable, but ...) and Katie and Lauren's friendship becomes realistic and genuine to the viewer as they both help the other one overcome personal shortcomings in a way only a good, close friend could. If you aren't a prude and enjoy raunchy comedy, For a Good Time, you could give this one a watch.