FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL…: 2 STARS
Has there ever been a great movie with an ellipsis in the title? A quick Google search reveals a handful of forgettable movies with the dreaded “…” worked into the name. There’s “What If…” a Kevin Sorbo fantasy, Ving Rhames’s “Master Harold… and the Boys,” and “I’ll Kill You… I’ll Bury You… I’ll Spit on Your Grave Too!” a horror movie so wretched it doubles up on the dreaded dots. Now, along comes “For a Good Time Call…” a new comedy that almost breaks the long established punctuation curse, but not quite.
Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller play Katie and Lauren, twenty-something NYC frenemies who each find themselves in need of a roommate. Free spirited Katie lives in a large apartment she can no longer afford while Lauren has recently been dumped and is couch surfing. Putting aside their differences, they call an uneasy truce, and decide to split the rent. When circumstance forces them both to explore new ways to make money they decide to go into business together, a career shift that teaches one to let love go while the other learns to let love into her life.
“For a Good Time Call…” may be the first sitcom about phone sex operators. It’s ninety minutes long and playing in theatres, but make no mistake, this is a sitcom. It’s “The Odd Couple” with dirty mouths. There are some funny lines (“I didn’t have parents who told me I could be the first pretty president,” says Katie.) but they are wedged between paper-thin characters and predictable situations.
The two leads (Miller also co-wrote the script) are fun, (more fun than cameos by Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith doing… well, the thing that sex line customers do) but the film is so uneven that their charm isn’t quite enough to carry the day by the film’s last half-hour. It’s a movie that wants to be “Bridesmaids,” a raunchy-rom-com with heart but only really succeeds getting the raunch right.