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For a Good Time, Call…


for a good time call poster

Sex sells. Why do you think Playboy has been so wildly successful since its inception in 1953? Now more than ever all levels of nouns (people, places and things) are being hyped up and sexualized. Even with the growth of the Internet as a means for sexually motivated content and the rebirth of adult novels — a la Fifty Shades of Grey — we often forget another medium that is still surviving despite common perceptions: the hotline.

Grade:

C

It seems recent pop culture, be it television or movies, has people in financial troubles turning to drugs, violence or prostitution as means of making ends meet. In For a Good Time, Call…, Lauren Powell (Lauren Miller) and Katie Steele (Ari Graynor) begin a sex hotline that binds them as lifelong friends and also acts as a cash cow.

Sadly, that one sentence synopsis ends up being a spoiler as well because there is no deviation from the norm here. Apart from the initial conflict — the girls hated each other in college — there is no real dip that forces the characters to react or grow. The result is a realism that is so believable, the film falters as a result.

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Graynor and Miller seem to hardly be acting throughout. Actually, the only time there seems to be any presence of forced lines is when they are pretending to hate each other. The two seem to epitomize “BFFs” so well that a lack of conflict ends up working in this regard. They feasibly could start a hotline and be incredibly close friends.

However, the film, consequently, plays out as a sort of voyeuristic view into the life of two friends in the city, which has further meanings considering their occupation of choice. It hardly ever feels like you are watching a story being told. Instead, it feels like a clip in a bigger story of how two people (the wild child and the conservative student) become the best of friends.

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This is not to say that the movie is without its laughs. In fact, the film is quite funny. I found myself laughing more often than anticipated; although, these laughs were diminished as I realized the blasé path we were headed towards. Since the movie revolves around two girls largely holed up in their apartment, the laughs provide a solid break to the potential monotony.

I expect and hope to see more of Miller going forward, as she still provided a bright spot despite Graynor’s rambunctious, bubbly nature. While For a Good Time, Call is not inherently bad, it is very middling. I wouldn’t go as far as to say do not see it, but I would feel comfortable saying not much is missed by avoiding it.

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