Recently: “For a Good Time, Call…”

IMG_0264-0.JPGThe raunchy sex comedy is something of a staple in the film industry. Rarely, however, do we get one that is led by women, let alone a group. While it tends to scream empowering, it’s more just a wonderful change of pace for a genre that’s long been dominated by men, that only manage to recycle the same gags over and over.

The Focus Features film “For a Good Time, Call…”, takes a somewhat tired genre and manages to add some fresh life into it, all while ensuring that it’s somewhat heartfelt as well.

This comedy film stars Ari Graynor (“Bad Teacher (TV series)”, “The Guilt Trip”), Lauren Anne Miller (“Growing Up and Other Lies”, “Ben and Kate”), Justin Long (upcoming “Tusk”, “Walking with Dinosaurs”), Sugar Lyn Beard (“Garfunkel and Oats”, “A True Story”), Mimi Rogers (“Wilfred”, Two and a Half Men”), Nia Vardolos (“Law & Order: SVU”, “Dealin’ With Idiots”), Mark Webber (“Happy Christmas”, “Laggies”), and James Wolk (“Mad Men”, Political Animals”).

The film was directed by Jamie Travis (“Faking It”, “Finding Carter”), and written by Miller (“Girls! Girls! Girls!”, “Measure of Love (2004 Short)”) and Katie Anne Naylon.

The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and would later hit wide release on Aug. 31.

Make no mistake this film is a sex fueled raunchy comedy, with a bit of a twist. What’s great about this is that it’s a sex comedy led by two women and also written by women. It’s not so much that it can make a statement and say, “Hey! Women are funny too!”, but more that they know how to have a sense of humor when it comes to sex themed films and do it intelligently. While it may still be too raunchy and taking your small child would not be recommended, it stops just short of most other films. For me, unlike with “Bridesmaids”, this film wasn’t as gross. This film knew how to use all the same words to be sexual and vulgar, but they stopped just shy of crossing the line. Most of what occurred was done in a tasteful manner. So surprising from this type of movie, as it also managed to remain quite hilarious!

Graynor has some of the best comic timing and presence that I’ve seen in awhile. For this film she had to balance comedy, a little drama and being a vulnerable person. There were some specific characteristics that defined who she was, and helped to get me to like her in the end. Just about every moment that she was on screen was full of humor and a lot of good laughs.

The success of Graynor’s character and Miller’s is from the writing. The writing is smart, and allows through the characters for the humorous dialogue to take shape.The situations that were created, for comedic purposes, didn’t involve slapstick comedy, which would’ve doomed this, but just moments that were borne because of a character. Miller’s character is a total opposite of Graynor’s and must be taught the art of how to be a phone sex operator. The scene that came from it, which involved a tutorial on words and how to act the part, was flat out hilarious! Graynor was equipped with a chalk board and pointer, like that of an old school teacher. Another scene I love was when the girls figured out what Beard’s character was doing, working for them. The moment was perfect as it was just surprising and quite funny. I didn’t expect this from this film. Okay, maybe I did, but not in the way it was executed. Also, the final scene of the movie was hilarious! Deliberately done, of course, but it was none the less funny with these two women, as their characters, bantered back and forth.

That final scene was the best way to sum up how far they’d come and how great their friendship was. That’s the other important aspect of this film, which sets it apart from most other sex comedies, or comedies in general. The relationship grew and grew and was one that came off as truly genuine. I loved seeing them bond together, over something so bizarre, and growing closer because of it. Had they just been roommates, that had to tolerate each other and had normal jobs, this film would’ve been dull and too dramatic. Friendship, it appears, is a powerful thing.

Long’s character was rather irritating. He was the typical embodiment of a gay friend character. Nothing about him was different nor interesting. Hello cliche character. I’ll admit, he had a few, a few, funny moments, but that was it. Then he reverted back to being obnoxious and uninteresting. I don’t know if it was the bizarre casting of Long or if the character itself probably could’ve been fine leaving out.

This is all coming from me, and I don’t do raunchy sex comedies, mostly because they’re gross and stupid, or just gross. Sorry, it’s what happens when you don’t watch the “American Pie” films like everyone else. Even so, this is a film that so many people can enjoy as the aspect of friendship is so strong and relevant to everyone, sex hotline or not. Is it wrong of me to want a sequel for this? Anyway to get to see these two women continue their friendship and antics would be greatly appreciated and welcome!

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