For a Good Time, Call… (review)

For a Good Time Call yellow light Lauren Miller Ari Graynor

I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It starts out as a modern-gal Odd Couple as two hard-up New Yorkers are forced to become roommates: Lauren (Lauren Miller: 50/50) is the boring vanilla one; Katie (Ari Graynor: The Sitter) is the nasty sexy one; can they share an admittedly huge Manhattan apartment without driving each other crazy? But then it morphs into something that it clearly hopes we’ll all tag “that cute phone-sex comedy” as the two women collaborate on an entrepreneurial enterprise to get horny guys off without having to touch them, or indeed even be in the same city as them: Lauren is the business brains, Katie the dirty talker. What saves this ultimately charming indie — the debut feature from Canadian filmmaker Jamie Travis — from its inescapable sitcomishness and an over-reliance on some tired stereotypes is that it does manage genuine cuteness in a realm that has enormous potential to be icky and crude. In fact, the special guest celebrity cameo phone wankers, whose identities I won’t spoil, do descend into a bit of ewwww, but there’s a frank and funny understanding of female sexuality here that few other films approach — most notably, perhaps, in how the narrow range of images that society expects women to express their sexuality through don’t come anywhere near being diverse enough to accommodate the realities of women’s lives. And its exploration of women’s friendships as, sometimes, complicated and mysterious is smart and fresh. Ah, but see, this is what happens when women, such as star Miller and her cowriter Katie Anne Naylon, write movies: we get actual women’s perspectives on real women instead of prefab ideas about what “women” are “supposed” to be. Regular fab! Also fab: Justin Long (The Conspirator) as Lauren and Katie’s best gay pal. He’s adorable. Can’t ever have too much Justin Long.

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