The buddy comedy has rarely featured two female protagonists. It's as if only men are expected to bond at that level. In For a Good Time, Call
, the women become incredibly close friends, sharing a household, business and life's ups and downs. But the expense of this friendship is subjective.
Lauren (Lauren Miller) is super put together with at least a five-year plan. But when her boyfriend decides they need a break, her plan is shattered. Enter Katie (Ari Graynor), a free spirit in dire need of a roommate to avoid eviction. The two have an explosive past due to an inexcusable party fowl, but desperate times... One day, Lauren unexpectedly discovers Katie works for a phone sex hotline. With Lauren's business sense and Katie's talent, they begin to turn a hefty profit and consequently become best friends.
This is without a doubt a chick flick. From the catfights to the bonding moment over a basket of dildos, this is a movie about women for women; though they do try to include enough humour to entertain all viewers. Lauren and Katie are to some extent caricatures of types of women, who then break away from the stereotypes associated with that personality: Lauren shows she's capable of being a wild child, while Katie turns out to not be the party girl she was assumed to be.
It takes some time for the narrative to really grab hold of the audience. The first act just sets the scene for later occurrences and provides some character development. One of the few highlights is a job interview with Nia Vardalos and certain exchanges with their mutual gay best friend played by Justin Long. It picks up, however, when they begin working on the hotline. Funny (and somewhat disturbing) cameo callers, including Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen and Ken Marino, supply some awkward insight into what takes place on the other end of the line. On the other hand, Katie’s “10 o’clock Sean” (Mark Webber) is portrayed in an entirely different, sweeter light.
The relationship between Lauren and Katie imitates that of a couple as they grow closer. They mimic a scene from Dirty Dancing
, compliment each other like lovers and look as if they are about to take their friendship to the next level on multiple occasions. Instead, they remain platonic companions and grow as people, expanding each other’s worlds and hearts – in a non-sentimental, comedic way.
The second half of this film is far better than the first as the script becomes more clever and the women begin to really have fun.
Director: Jamie Travis
Starring: Ari Graynor
, Lauren Miller
and Justin Long