For a Good Time, Call...
Facts and Figures
Run time: 85 mins
In Theaters: Friday 2nd November 2012
Box Office USA: $1.2M
Distributed by: Focus Features
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 58 Rotten: 47
IMDB: 6.0 / 10
For a Good Time, Call... Review
Colourful direction and sparky performances help make this friendship comedy watchable, although it never seems like a finished film. Instead, we feel like we're watching the first rehearsal for a much better movie. It manages to charm us along the way, but it's never as funny or sexy as it tries to be.
When his two best pals have housing problems, gay New York comic Jesse (Long) suggests they move in together. Lauren (Miller) is a business ace who has just lost her job and her boyfriend, while Katie (Graynor) is an aimless young woman working a series of jobs that don't pay enough for her to pay the bills on her late grandmother's gorgeous flat. The problem is that they hate each other due to a minor incident 10 years earlier and resent each other for being dull and oversexed, respectively. Then Lauren realises that Katie could actually make a lot more money if she opened her own phone-sex company. And when the two go into business together, an unlikely friendship is born.
Screenwriters Miller and Naylon based the story on their own life (Miller even plays herself), so there are constant details that add honesty and humour along the way. On the other hand, they have also forced the plot into the usual rom-com story structure, so we know exactly where it's going from the start. But what's even stranger is the way they pack scenes with riotously graphic sex talk without letting the characters actually have any riotous sex. The movie's only two bed scenes are bizarrely dull, and badly undermine both the randy atmosphere and any point the movie might be making about sexuality.
This is probably because the film was shot quickly in just two weeks, and we can sense this in the unfinished nature of most scenes, as if the punchlines hadn't been written yet. Miller and Graynor are lively and increasingly likeable in the central roles, and we wish there was more of Long's genuinely hilarious side character, as well as the lively side roles for Webber (as a cute client Katie falls for), Vardalos (as Lauren's sassy potential boss) and Rogers (as Lauren's oblivious mum), plus some starry client cameos. In other words, the script needed some rewriting to develop the comedy, sexuality and emotion into something we could really engage with.