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FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… Movie Review

Are you a 20-something woman looking to pay the rent and have some extra dollars for the finer things in life? Well, For a Good Time, Call… has a suggestion for you…

Just kidding! Though phone sex features prominently (and is laugh-out-loud hilarious!!), it is by no means the only way in which For a Good Time, Call… shines.

Ari Graynor (Katie) and Lauren Miller (Lauren) star as former college enemies, who reluctantly choose to be roomies so that both can continue living in the Big Apple. When Lauren loses her job, she and Katie adopt The Social Network theory of employment, that “inventing a job is better than finding a job.” Combining their talents, they launch a successful, joint business venture: a phone-sex line (1-900-MMM-HMMM). As their friend Jesse (Justin Long) so eloquently puts it: “[These] ladies are living some fucked up version of the American Dream.” In the process of merging talents, they also merge their lives, and ultimately become the kind of besties that most girls can only dream of.

In addition to endearingly awesome performances by Graynor and Miller (and a hyperly entertaining one by Long), For a Good Time, Call… features star-studded caller cameos by Seth Rogen (Miller’s real-life husband) and Kevin Smith, a little family awkwardness when Lauren’s parents (Mimi Rogers and Don McManus) stop by for a surprise visit or two, a jaded and oddly forthcoming human resources executive (Nia Vardalos), and two beaus (James Wolk and Mark Webber), polar opposites who represent Lauren and Katie’s past and future. Throwback references to the likes of Dirty Dancing, Full House, and a 1980s-looking Casio toy keyboard, plus a phone-sex-operator-training montage and a new use for Spanx, round out the hilarity of For a Good Time, Call….

Many have tried to be, as Girls‘ Hannah Horvath termed it, “the voice of my generation–or at least a voice of a generation.” The writers of For a Good Time, Call…, Lauren Miller and real-life bestie Katie Anne Naylon, have succeeded. Their depiction of the soulmate-ship between Graynor and Miller’s characters is a truly genuine portrayal of what the bonds of friendship between two women can become, if a gal is unnaturally lucky enough to find ‘the one.’

In a year or two from now, when a movie advertises itself as “from the writers of For a Good Time, Call…” (as at least one undoubtedly will), I’ll have all the information necessary to know that the movie advertised is one I want to see.

For a Good Time, Call… opens in select cities on August 31, 2012 (expanding on September 14 and September 21), and has been rated R.

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All photos: © 2012 Focus Features
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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.