Box art for For A Good Time, Call...

For A Good Time, Call...

comedy


This raucous comedy features two polar opposite young women, short on the funds needed to live in New York City, who agree to room together and start working as a phone-sex operators.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    55%
  • Audience Score
    54%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
1 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5

Silly phone sex comedy is lighthearted but crude.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that For a Good Time, Call... is a comedy about female friends who team up to create a successful phone sex business. Language ("s--t," "f--k," and much more) and sex are the biggest issues; though the movie doesn't show too much, there's very heavy sexual innuendo. As the main characters speak to customers, they use strong language and pretend to be sexually aroused, even though viewers can see they're only acting. There are suggestions of men masturbating, though nothing explicit is shown. Characters argue from time to time, but otherwise, the mood is light and funny, and there are actually positive themes about friendship and teamwork floating around underneath all of the crude stuff.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about For a Good Time, Call...'s sexual content. Does it seem lewd or depraved or funny? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
  • Can the main characters be considered role models for starting their own business?
  • Before becoming friends, the main characters held a grudge for a long time based on an initial bad meeting. Do first impressions count that much? Is it possible to become friends with someone after a bad start?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A fun, healthy, sexy comedy that pulls no punches and focuses on a realistic female friendship and the powerful dynamic that sexuality plays in our lives.

- Amanda Mae Meyncke, Film.com, Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rotten: Adheres to those familiar, looping patterns of joy, rancor and revelation that everyone, in the age of Final Draft, have come to expect of a standard comic screenplay.

- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, August 31, 2012

Fresh: This hot-pink and leopard-print take on a familiar formula is so energetic and self-assured that it powers past its predictability.

- Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic, Thursday, September 6, 2012

Audience Reviews

3 stars

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

- mrbungle7821, Friday, September 14, 2012

1 star

Katie: You go get your fancy pants boring job and I'll just be here being exciting. It's a buddy comedy, a chick flick, and a story of phone sex operators; all rolled into one! Obviously there have to be plenty of people that found this movie funny. For a Good Time, Call... was picked up out of Sundance and quickly turned around for a release this year. I guess the idea is to cash in on women talking dirty, following the success that was had with 2011's Bridesmaids, except that film had more up its sleeve than just crude dialogue. For a Good Time, Call... feels like an incredibly lazy sitcom that is stretched out to feature length and attempting to repeatedly cash in on just one joke. Hearing so many explicit things in the span of a few minutes or as a running gag is fine, but as the only thing a film has going for it, it just becomes tiring and bland. read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com

- DrZeek, Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1 star

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!!

- fb720603734, Monday, September 24, 2012