This was inevitable: The Apatowian bromance – the dominant trend in comedy for the past five years – has found its reverse-gender equivalent. But this new comedy isn’t coy like those embedded homoeroticisms of yesteryear (okay, the late Aughts): If For a Good Time, Call … got drunk and tatted one night, the fresh ink would read “Girl (Crush) Power.”
Lauren Miller, who co-wrote the script with Katie Anne Naylon, plays Lauren, a strait-laced, high-achieving big blah. When her boyfriend (Wolk) – a subzero to her personality zilch – kicks her out, Lauren reluctantly moves in with her college nemesis Katie (Graynor), who pays the rent as a for-hire phone-sex operator. With entrepreneurial zest, Lauren convinces Katie to start their own independent shop together pleasuring gentleman callers. Business booms, and a platonic love blooms that uses the same language, ups and downs, and lovestruck declarations as a rom-com.
For a Good Time, Call … is equal parts sweet and sailor-mouth-sweary (“I just phone-fucked the shit out of our tax attorney”). While its heart is always in the right place, the humor – especially in the sludgy first act – is hit or miss. But as Graynor’s role expands (and Miller’s uninspiring straight man recedes), the film finds a foothold – and a star. Graynor has delivered reliable comedic backup before, stealing the show in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and the otherwise dreckful What’s Your Number?. Here, she’s second to no one: rowdy, raring to go, as at home with vulnerability as she is with coltish vulgarity. She’s dynamite stuff, and one hopes she soon finds material as good as she is.