For a Good Time Call …

For a Good Time Call …

2012, R, 86 min. Directed by Jamie Travis. Starring Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long, Mark Webber, James Wolk, Nia Vardalos, Mimi Rogers, Don McManus.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Sept. 7, 2012

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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Ari Graynor Films
Like a Boss
Unpleasant workplace comedy didn't get the memo about jokes

Steve Davis, Jan. 10, 2020

The Disaster Artist
The making of one of the most inept films ever made

Steve Davis, Dec. 1, 2017

More by Kimberley Jones
We Have an Issue: What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Disaster
We Have an Issue: What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Disaster
In this week’s cover story, Lina Fisher examines the looming threats of flood and wildfire

May 27, 2022

Downton Abbey: A New Era
Small-screen stately manor still can't fill the big screen

May 20, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

For a Good Time Call …, Jamie Travis, Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long, Mark Webber, James Wolk, Nia Vardalos, Mimi Rogers, Don McManus

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle