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It was wonderful how lively director Jamie Travis, co-writer Katie Anne Naylon and co-stars Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller were during the interview I had with them several weeks back about their upcoming film “For A Good Time, Call…” They all cared so much about the quality of their film and each of the jobs they did within the making of it, but in reality, for a guy especially, this film is kind of average.
“For A Good Time, Call…” is a story about female friendship – when Lauren (Lauren Miller) needs to find a new place to live, her friend Jesse (Justin Long) hooks her up with a girl she didn’t get along with so well in college – Katie (Ari Graynor). The two constantly battle the fact that they are complete opposites and come together entrepreneurially, starting a phone sex hotline run by the two of them in their little New York City apartment.
It is a cute story – opposites coming together and doing something productive, working with each other’s talents and specialties to get some money – but it’s a story that’s shallow and simple. Even at 86 minutes, it still feels a bit too long because the plot is a story easily told – but maybe that might just be the male in me talking. The male in me was upset that “For A Good Time, Call…” was an R rated movie with only a few laughable jokes alongside minimal amounts of raunchiness and literally no nudity.
I know that the creators are trying to appeal to women, but how can you have a phone sex comedy with an R rating without any nudity? It just seems contradictory. Yeah, some of the jokes were dirty, and there were dildos everywhere, but it still feels held back because shit never really hits the fan. That isn’t to say anything negative about the acting, as the two lead stars in Miller and Graynor were perfect for the roles they played and the cameos by Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith are genuinely hilarious (and even believable) – but they weren’t even the best in the cast.
Save that title for actor Justin Long, who has sort of become a Hollywood guilty pleasure. When I try to think of genuinely bad movies he’s been in over the last few years, the only one that comes to mind is “Live Free Or Die Hard.” His performance here as Jesse is almost identical to his character from Kevin Smith’s “Zack & Miri Make A Porno,” and he fits well in that role – especially under the direction of Jamie Travis.
Up until now, Travis has only delved in short films, but he did a strong job making the story of “For A Good Time, Call…” move despite the fact it is shot in mostly one room (and in 16 days). He’s probably going to find bigger and better projects over the next few years, so keep your eyes out for him because there is potential in his work. He just isn’t raunchy enough to direct a phone sex comedy in my humble opinion.
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