For a Good Time, Call... - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

For a Good Time, Call... Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 16, 2012
Here's a movie that was an absolute surprise for me. I expected a light comedy chick flick, and what I got was a hilarious, raunchy, chick flick that guys will enjoy. It's about two girls that don't like each other and are complete opposites. One is uptight and the other is wild who works as a sex phone operator. Well, when the uptight one needs work she helps her set up her own line, 1800-mmm-hmmm. From there they balance their new friendship while running this business and living together. I didn't think this would be funny really and only watched it because I wanted to get something that I thought Emily would enjoy, and she fell asleep while I laughed my butt off. Now the movie towards the end goes full chick flick, but up until the last like 15 minutes its very funny. Has a lot of one liners("Oh your a redhead? Do you have freckles on your dick?"), and a couple great surprise cameos that I didn't expect at all. Is this a great movie that in 5 years I'm still gonna wanna watch? No, but it's definitely worth a watch for a few good laughs. Seen a lot of comedies that are a lot worse that this.
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2012
For a Good Time, Call... was a unique, funny, clever, and shameless good time. I love when gals can get down and raunchy without shame. Besides it being a bit naughty it also had some heart. I love Ari Graynor. I think she is a funny chick. I like Justin Long as well and thought he did great at playing Jesse. Lauren Anne Miller is a new actress for me. I've never seen her in anything before. She was just OK for me. I thought Ari stole the show. I liked all the surprise callers. The movie is a lot of fun. It's silly and touching at times as well. It's a great indie comedy, one I would see again.
Super Reviewer
½ February 14, 2013
This sitcom style comedy is too raunchy, over the top, and just plain not interesting enough to hold the attention of all but the least demanding comedy fans. It tries to pull off the Bridemaids style R rated film with an all female central cast, but it isn't as funny or as in touch with the characters as Bridesmaids. The story is incredibly predictable, and the last 20 minutes completely blow it thanks to the eventual fight that reeks of a storytelling mechanic and isn't believable at all after what the characters have been through. Speaking of the characters, they are kind of likable, but too quirky for me. Every single character is given that over the top comedy feel to go for the laughs, stripping it of any dramatic heft it could have had. There's some funny cameos from Seth Roger, Kevin Smith, and Nia Vardalos, though they aren't enough to make up for everything else. The central premise of the phone sex hotline, while initially kind of funny, also gets overblown and tiresome by the end. I simply cannot recommend this film.
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2012
Got to admit, I enjoyed this. Yes, it's silly and a bit tacky, but it is so sweet underneath all that, I don't think too many people would fail to like it even a little.
You could think of this as "2 broke girls start a sex talk line" - it is that type of humour. Mostly a girl buddy movie with innuendo and a few interesting cameos.
I had not seen either of these girls in a movie before. Ari is like a jaded Kate Hudson, Lauren, a young Liv Tyler. Both are likeable and funny onscreen.
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2013
Lose your hang-ups. Find your calling.

Decent comedy movie! For a Good Time, Call . . . is not the sexiest movie you'll see this year, even though it is about phone sex with some very racy language. It isn't about gay friendship either, although some of the situations might suggest that notion. No, it's about the business of friendship, the need to accept and nurture differences until real love emerges, not phony stuff. The film is not without its formulas and clichés, such as enemies becoming friends, the gay best friend, and the clueless rich parents. The last third of the film is filled with formulaic resolution, especially the breakup that will never stick. But that lack of imagination serves to highlight the imaginative novelty of new women who will say "I love you" to each other loud, openly, and without guilt. The film fails to give any insight into the art and success of phone sex or its enduring allure. That Katie is falling for a regular customer, Sean, does more to open the question about the downside of the biz, namely the potential perverts, than it does to expand the romantic possibilities of the comedy itself. Perhaps that's another comedy that the Bridesmaids and Hangover filmmakers, including Judd Apatow, would like to try, given that women have now permanently entered into hitherto male only romantic comedy territory.

Lauren and Katie, college frenemies with a mutual good friend, move in together at age 28 in order to afford an amazing Gramercy Park apartment. The unlikely pair start a phone sex line and become best friends while learning about this hilarious world of vibrators, fake orgasms and nighttime callers. When the hot line is hung up and reality comes calling, the most meaningful relationship of their lives is put to the test.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2012
A woman invested film, Call... never tries to take itself too seriously, but comes up short in appealing to women exclusively or to men at all. It's definitely frothy and a fun watch for anyone who has the dirty caliber of mind to be okay watching two girls spew forth some of the most filthy dialogue seen onscreen in years. Both characters are rather gleefully filthy, spouting their diatribes about men, looking good, finding love, and the world of the phone sex operator. Though the subject matter itself is terse, and the one thing going for this film is depicting women as filth mongers with hearts of gold, it's not exactly off-putting or comes off as cheap. The characters themselves are actually quite genuine throughout most of the film: Lauren Anne Miller comes off as a genuinely uptight, repressed, and yet marginally adventurous woman, embarrassed by what her parents think of her ambitions, and subordinate in relationships. Ari Graynor will definitely be one of the funniest female comedic actors of our time and has already made her mark in "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" as a drunken hooligan, and recently in "Celeste and Jesse Forever" as a concerned best friend. Graynor is great at portraying strong, funny, enigmatic women, and here she is not happy with staying complicit. Kudos also goes to Justin Long, who is always salacious as gay characters, James Wolk as a douche ex-boyfriend, and Mark Webber as a client who becomes more. The film is fairly sleazy, recycling dirty talk again and again, getting more and more degrading. There are some seriously funny moments, but the friendship between the two of them is far from realistic. Their platonic love for one another, fighting and making up, and the plot twist surrounding Graynor's character was simply unrealistic and ridiculous. That relationship is far from genuine, and for all the lively talk about sex and other bombastic activities, there isn't any real heart to this because the characters fall flat. A good chick flick, but not a great one.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2012
Given the success of the female-centric mega hit Bridesmaids, it was only a matter of time before we got a slew of girls-behaving-naughty R-rated sex comedies. Enter the phone sex comedy For a Good Time, Call, which has the distinction of being co-written by Seth Rogen's real-life wife, Lauren Miller, who also stars in the film. It advertises a good time and mostly delivers, though you might not think as much about the movie in the cold light of day.

Lauren (Miller) has just been dumped by her self-involved boyfriend and fired from her job. She's looking for a new place to live when a mutual friend sets her up with a huge New York City apartment. The catch: her roommate is Katie (Ari Graynor), an acquaintance from college she has despised ever since a very horrifying party foul of seismic proportions. Katie's going to lose her posh home unless she gets a roommate, so the women reach a mutual understanding. Then one day, listening to Katie's hyperactive sexual noises, Lauren discovers how her roommate really pays the bills. She's been running a phone sex line and getting guys off for $3.99 a minute. Lauren decides to get involved in the business end, and before long the ladies have become a professional outlet and roll in their riches. Invigorated, Lauren starts experimenting herself, letting her freak flag fly, and before long she's also getting in on the calls.

Graynor is no stranger to stealing a movie, as she did perfectly in the sweetly unassuming 2008 teen romance, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. This girl has had the markings of a star for years and finally she's found the vehicle to showcase her comedic vivaciousness. To say Graynor makes this movie is an understatement to her talents. Graynor is this movie's pulse, its lifeblood, its font of energy, its wickedness, its exuberance, its very soul. This woman is amazing. She can take a simple line and with an effortless dose of comedic verve, it can become a gut-buster. I could watch twelve movies in a row with Graynor playing at this level of exciting excellence. The part is pretty familiar, the dirty girl who has problem with a filter, but Graynor makes the most of every opportunity. I loved her adorable theatricality, like a foxy, younger, brassy Bette Midler (God, did I ever think I'd string those words together?). I loved her enthusiastic hip shake, wearing large body stockings, while singing, "I'm ready to beat date rape!" Naturally, Katie gets all the best lines but her interplay with Lauren also works well. When the movie focuses on Lauren, and by extension the unremarkable performance by Miller, you start to feel things slag. Lauren is passive becoming active, but really even by the end she can still be cited as boring. Katie is active, hungry, brash, charming, and wonderfully portrayed by Graynor, and when she dominates, you'll ask for more.

Except for the lively theatrics from Graynor, the movie can often feel hung up on generic sitcom plot devices and character generalities. The premise itself is perfectly fine, but the movie seems to exist in some randy fantasy world. We still have a main character in the world of publishing that will obviously be offered the Big Job at an inopportune personal time (as movies have shown, every human being on the planet either works in publishing, advertising, or theater). And then there's the Bad Boyfriend, who breaks up with our heroine in the opening moments of the movie because they are "boring" together. Any guesses whether he shows up late as well, begging her back? I'd probably be more forgiving of these contrived plot turns if the movie did more to present Lauren and Katie as real characters. As written, they are pigeonholed into opposites (prude/wild woman) and rarely do we learn more about them. Lauren loosens up, Katie gains some self-respect, and they girls becomes BFFs. That development I found rather unconvincing, probably because there was little development. All of a sudden Lauren has an interest in joining the business, and one montage later, the girls have buried the hatchet. It feels like everything changed overnight. The attempts to ladle in some forced sweetness feels, in some regards, more crass than the sex jokes. I'll credit the movie for keeping me amused while watching, but upon further reflection, the girls and their relationship feels rather slapdash and rote.

The comedy itself gets too easily complacent with all those naughty words bandied about. Oh sure there's plenty of effective jokes about sexually frank conversations, and the inherently awkward nature of phone sex mechanics, but For A Good Time, Call seems too easily satisfied. I wish that Miller and co-writer Katie Anne Naylor had pushed their comedic setups further, had taken a few more left turns rather than settling for the familiar sex gag. Here's an example: Lauren's prissy parents make an unexpected visit and the girls have to hide their business particulars. That's a fine starting point, but where else does it go? The comic tension is too easily resolved instead of escalated. Then, surprise, the parents make a SECOND unexpected visit. This time the sex decorations are prominently displayed. We're waiting for some good comedic tension, some squirming, but again, it's over before the good stuff can even get going (am I right, ladies?). The Justin Long (Going the Distance) flamboyantly gay friend is never as funny as the movie thinks he is. There's a scene where Lauren is interrupted while masturbating, but we only realize after the fact when the joke is already over. Why introduce such a scenario if you were just going to settle for a weak "smelly finger" joke? Perhaps I would find the material funnier if I was a woman, relating more to the female dynamic on screen, but do you see how condescending that line of thinking gets? I unabashedly adored 2011's Bridesmaids (my #3 film of that year). I don't think anyone needs to grade a comedy on a curve for any reason, especially if they think they're trying to be polite.

I'm not going to make more or less of its sexual politics than what is presented. I think there is genuine merit when women take ownership of their sexuality. Why should women feel judged for wanting equality when bedroom activities and impulses are concerned? Whatever helps people build a healthy self-image should be championed, as long as it's between consenting adults. Watching Katie and Lauren personally grow based upon their unique entrepreneurship is welcomed. However, I can't help but shake my feelings that there is something lurking, some deeper sub current that is not worth celebrating because the movie seems to play into male fantasy. Even though I adored Graynor, I think it would have served the film better if the more sexually-liberated character, the pro when it comes to working the phones, was actually a less attractive woman, perhaps a mousy gal you'd never expect such lurid behavior from. I think that would offer more comedic potential as well. I think this would also puncture some of the airbrushed fantasy of the film's cheescake world of a phone sex line.

I have my complaints but I was laughing fairly regularly and enjoyed the experience, so if you're just looking for a good time at the movies you can consider For A Good Time, Call. Watching Graynor sink her teeth into her role and go full gusto is a rowdy pleasure, and it's easy to see that this woman is a star. The smutty jokes are fun and offer plenty of ribald laughs, but I always felt like the movie was too complacent, too settled, and curiously clumsy when it came to comic payoffs. The film is pretty flatly directed by Jamie Travis. The characters are pretty thin, and the plot feels ripped from a flimsy TV sitcom, but I laughed aplenty and found the movie difficult to dislike. It's not the most nuanced sex comedy, or the most ribald, but it delivers enough big jokes and Graynor is too sensational to miss.

Nate's Grade: B
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2013
This may be the most brightly lit movie about sex ever.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2012
Ok, we get it folks. Chicks can be just as disgusting as men. Women like to call each other "Dude" and say things like, "Get off my dick". They vomit, have diarrhea and are just the most PITCH PERFECT BACHELORETTES and BRIDESMAIDS the world has ever seen! Okay? UNCLE! UNCLE!! Or is it more PC to cry, AUNT! AUNT!

Having said that, there's so much that's right about this film, that it's a shame to see it undone by incredibly slack direction and editing. A story about two mismatched roommates who "MEET GROSS" and then bicker until they figure out they can make a killing starting their own Phone Sex business has the seeds of a good comedy. Its underlying story is that of women coming together and realizing that it's really cool to love each other instead of falling victim to the cat-fighting cliche. All good.

Well almost. I pretty much object to these films feeling like they need to APATOW IT UP with a moment of pure disgust. Here it comes in the form of a Big Gulp cup filled with pee and a bumpy road. Ick. Trust me, nobody is gonna want to stand around the watercooler the next day and say, "Wow man. Did you see how that urine just flew in her face? Fist bump me, dude. That was rad!" I also object to the Gay Best Friend character. REALLY? Couldn't he have just been a straight guy and make, I don't know, the Crazy Christian character into a lesbian? Freshen things up here, folks! WILL AND GRACE ended its run in 2006.

But let's face it. The leads are pretty cute together, although co-writer/actress Lauren Anne Miller (real life wife to cameo-appearing Seth Rogen) could stand to turn up the charm a notch or two. Their final phone call, I bet, reads really well on paper, but in reality, it's pretty stupid. Regardless, they have their moments. It's really the deadening direction and all-thumbs editing that keeps this film from being the intended frothy/sexy fun.

And don't get me started on the COMPLETE LIFT from my own EATING OUT: ALL YOU CAN EAT. I'm talking about the Nail Salon scene, complete with subtitles and the humor of a white girl unexpectedly blurting out an Asian language. Ari Graynor is an appealing actor, but honey, I know Rebekah Kochan. Rebekah Kochan is a friend of mine, And you, sir, are no Rebekah Kochan! So get off my dick!!
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2012
In recent years, the direction of female comedies has taken a turn for the better. It was always believed that a comedy, featuring a mostly female cast, would only work as a buddy comedy. No one ever thought that women would ever be able to successful pull off a raunchy comedy, until Bridesmaids came along and changed all that. For A Good Time, Call... is from the same writers and producers as Bridesmaids and may even be funnier. The story begins with Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) being dumped by her long time fiancee. On her own, Lauren can't afford the upscale apartment she's been living in, and is forced to move in with Katie, a promiscuous, pill popping OCD, who she'd only met once before, at a party, where Katie threw up on her. At first, the hostility is off the charts, but when Lauren loses her dream job, she is forced to help Katie run her business, a phone sex line. This film is not for the faint of heart, as it is very raunchy, to the point of shocking even me, someone who thinks they've seen it all. While this may seem like a great thing, the truth is, as with most single themed comedies, the longer it goes, the less funny it gets. At first, seeing the things these girls were saying and the people they were talking to was hilarious, but after an hour of this film, it just really wasn't all the funny anymore. Both the female leads are terrific and they are the reason this film works. For A Good Time, Call... is very raunchy and very funny, but it has one centralized theme and doesn't deviate from it much at all. If not for the amazing young ladies who star in it, this film would have got tiresome a lot more quickly then it did. For a good time watch this movie, it's way out there, but some parts are truly hysterical.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2013
Ari Graynor and Lauren Anne Miller's performances make this film worth checking out. They have a great on screen chemistry together. The film, I thought, could have been better.

The film feels more like a TV sitcom than a movie. I was surprised by the short running time of the film. It could have been 20 minutes longer. They had a good idea for a film, but didn't execute it correctly. It needed a rewrite. They should have opened the film up, when Katie first meets Lauren.

It was great seeing Ari Graynor in a leading role. I have seen her in a bunch of supporting roles in other movies. She reminds me of Kate Hudson or a younger Bette Midler. Justin Long is great in his supporting role. He almost steals the movie. I did like Kevin Smith's and Seth Rogen's appearances in the movie. Both of those scenes were hilarious.

Overall, I say, check the film out for Graynor and Miller. I would love to see them get leading roles in better films.
Super Reviewer
½ September 21, 2013
For a Good Time Call... turned out to be a pretty decent R-rated comedy. This came out when all the other female dark horse comedies came out, most notably Bridesmaids. It isn't quite on par with that, but there is still enough here to enjoy the raunchy jokes and appreciate the unique story. Let's just say Justin Long, for as briefly as he's in the movie, steals the show. Ari Graynor is pretty good herself as a bubbly yet unsure 20-something living in New York. Lauren Anne Miller doesn't quite have the acting chops to match Graynor, but she sits second fiddle most of the film even though her story is the lead.
The guest appearances are hilarious.
Most of the time the scenes move at a brisk pace, but at times, Lauren's character drags the mood down. There were a few jokes that tried too hard, but I did appreciate the Jewish quips and double entendras.
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2012
I went in with rather low expectations, but hoped for the best as I find Ari Graynor to be a great comedic actor and willing to go as far as she needs to for the sake of a joke. She is paired here with the less known Lauren Anne Miller, but is able to play the role of good girl gone bad with a nice tone of genuine fun that convinces us why she feels the need to have a summer fling with her less boring and reserved self. The two girls (Ari as Katie and Miller as Lauren) are at first sworn enemies for an incident that happened in college but are brought together by mutual friend Jesse (Justin Long) when each of their circumstances have them either finding a roommate or living on the streets. Graynor's Katie is the supposed wild girl of the bunch that always partied in college and has lived up to her reputation by now working in a nail salon. Lauren was in a serious relationship that ended up going nowhere and loses her stable job in the same week. In order to make some extra cash Katie performs a little phone sex each night and Lauren can't help but see her new roomie isn't making the kind of profit she has the potential to turn. And so, the fun ensues when the girls decide to start their own phone sex line. It may sound a bit of a simple premise, but it allows for the exploration of some very funny truths and some equally tender moments that give the film a little heart to go along with its raunch. Justin Long is especially enjoyable here as the gay best friend to each of them that only loves it even more when they too become good friends. Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, and Nia Vardalos make fun cameos and at a brisk hour and twenty-five minutes the experience speeds by leaving you with nothing more than a fun impression and a smile on your face.
Super Reviewer
½ July 23, 2012
"For a Good Time, Call..." works splendidly with its appealing leading ladies Lauren Anne Miller and Ari Graynor, both of which take their first time leading roles to the next level. Justin Long also continues his long run of being the gay best friend, to which he has perfected over the course of several different films, including "The Break Up" and "Zack and Miri Make A Porno". The comedy pushes the raunchy limits, while remaining grounded and never completely unrealistic. Some of the exchanges between characters come up slightly cheesy, but it all shakes out in the end.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2012
I adored For A Good Time, Call... This is the most innocent R-rated movie you're going to find. It's cute. There is profanity and sexuality (look at the movie title and watch the trailers), but it focuses on two friends who put their dislike for each other aside and become room mates and then partners in a phone sex operation.

It has a lot of things I like in a movie like this: It's funny, has witty and entertaining dialogue with the actors who can deliver their lines very well and there really are no villains. The small twists work well and keep the movie flowing well, even though their not surprising. It's not crass, which I thought it could easily have been.

For A Good Time, Call... is all this despite a huge problem. The lead actresses, Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller, have absolutely no chemistry. None. They're both good and, more importantly in a movie like this: entertaining, actresses, but they don't do well together. It makes the ending a little awkward, but they were able to work around that with their acting. And if Ari Graynor isn't seen as a wonderful lead actress by now, she never will. The appearances of funnymen like Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen helped make For A Good Time, Call... that much better.

Lauren Miller was one of writers, along with newcomer Katie Anne Naylon, and I like what they did. I'd expect them to progress in their next films, and I see them doing more together, if not. Also new to feature films, director Jamie Travis also showed the ability to put a decent film together.

For A Good Time, Call... is worth watching. It'll be on DVD/BRD soon. It's definitely worth renting.
½ October 10, 2015
It tries really hard to be funny and doesn't follow a clear path, instead feeling like a slightly longer humorless sitcom episode; fortunately, this means it doesn't overstay its welcome.
June 5, 2014
"Unfortunately Travis lacks the comedic skill and humanistic insight to make this anything more than Judd Apatow lite." i liked the unrated version best gets a half star 4 having kevin smith as one of the johns
March 29, 2014
Solidly sweet "dirty" comedy. The performances felt a little too false near the end, but still is a solid comedy.
March 14, 2014
A charming comedy about two unlikely girlfriends who get into the phone sex business to make ends meet and all the complications that arise from this arrangement.

Worth a rental.
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