For a Good Time Call…

Year: 2012
Production Co: AdScott Media
Director: Jamie Travis
Writer: Lauren Miller/Katie Ann Naylon
Cast: Lauren Miller, Ari Graynor, Justin Long, Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Mimi Rodgers, Nia Vardalos

Knowing as much as I did about the premise of this movie I expected it to be a so-so rom-com with aims to be edgy and indie by throwing a few swear words around and alluding to kinky sex, but I wasn't prepared for how genuine and eager it was, from the performances on down.

It's actually a close spiritual cousin to Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno (he stars in a cameo, which made me wonder how much of a coincidence it was). Like that film, For a Good Time Call... is a lot like life itself, where society's drowning in cheap, smutty representations of sex but where the truly sexy nature of love and attraction are hard to find.

Straight laced Lauren (Lauren Miller) and party girl Katie (Ari Graynor) and both at a loose end and running out of options, so at the urging of their mutual friend Jesse (Justin Long) and despite a nasty incident years before that saw them stop speaking to each other, they reluctantly agree to live together in Katie's grandmothers sumptuous apartment – one she can no longer afford by herself.

At first their relationship is prickly, but Lauren finds herself slowly fascinated by Katie's sideline as a phone sex worker. It's no real surprise when the pair bond and become friends, and when they do Lauren suggests applying her acumen to expanding the business. Before they know it the girls are a hit.

Like I said, the premise is nothing surprising and could have come straight from a hack writer at a corporate owned studio (see Katherine Heigl et al).

But Miller and especially Graynor have such good chemistry, and the latter (looking like a younger, more fun-loving version of Bette Midler) is so irrepressible I found my heart going out to both of them and wanting them to succeed and stay together.

Even when it wrapped up the third act crisis in a neat bow like movies of this genre must, I was with it the whole way. The script and direction and especially the performances have some rough edges, but they're delivered with such gusto they have real air of bawdy charm.

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