FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL…
(R and unrated)
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
One of the nice things about my job is the chance for pleasant surprises. Before I was a film critic, it was unlikely that I would rent or watch “For a Good Time, Call…” unless I was severely bored on a Saturday and there was nothing else on television. However, as a critic, I’m obligated to watch the films offered to me, and sometimes one really catches my eye.
“For a Good Time, Call…” tells the story of mismatched roommates who decide to make ends meet by starting their own phone sex line. The plot it loosely based on director Jamie Travis’ experience running one herself in her younger days. Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) is a straight-laced conservative type who comes out of her shell while Katie (Ari Graynor) is more free-spirited. As Lauren and Katie work together, they overcome their differences and learn more about how the real world works.
“For a Good Time, Call…” isn’t out there to change the world. It’s out there to just tell a cute, warm story. There’s a freshness to the stars’ chemistry, and together Miller and Graynor make the film work. Smaller parts are less charming, including Justin Long as the painfully stereotypical gay best friend and Nia Vardalos as the snotty publisher who keeps rejecting Lauren.
In essence, “For a Good Time, Call…” is a platonic love story between two girls, and it reaches a reality of characters that you don’t always see in a film like this.
Similarly, being about a phone sex line, there’s a temptation to dive in with the raunchiness. In fact, the over raunchy nature of female-based comedies might be all the rage after “Bridesmaids” was a hit, but there needs to be softness of the characters as well. And it’s not just female-based movies. Think of how many male-centric rip-offs of “The Hangover” we’ve seen bomb out over the past couple years.
Sure, there’s some ribald humor, and the subject matter is clearly edgy. However, that’s not the focus or the reason for the movie’s being. It’s really a sweet story of friendship wrapped in a sexy package.
The Blu-ray combo pack includes the DVD which gives you Digital Copy access, as well as UltraViolet streaming capabilities. There’s also access to pocketBLU and BD-Live features.
Bonus material includes deleted scenes, a feature commentary and the featurette “A Look Inside For a Good Time, Call…”