Co-written by lead actress Lauren Anne Miller, ‘For A Good Time, Call…’ is a potty-mouthed comedy about flatmates who discover their calling as phone sex operators.
The sassy sisters earn upwards of 800 dollars a night by catering to the X-rated fantasies of their appreciative male clientele while ironing their smalls or washing the dishes.
In these cash-strapped times, Jamie Travis’s empowerment fable proffers an attractive business model and the characters certainly enjoy the spoils of their salacious banter.
There’s a very sweet short, endearing bra-mance here.
Unfortunately, Miller and Katie Anne Nelson’s script is twice as long as it needs to be.
They slather on the cloying sentimentality and stumble badly with a running gag about one girl’s parents turning up unannounced.
Lauren (Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor) have nurtured mutual revulsion since an unfortunate incident at college.
In the intervening decade, their paths have diverged.
Lauren has climbed the career ladder and has a handsome, successful boyfriend, Charlie (James Wolk).
Her world implodes when Charlie dumps her and asks her to vacate their apartment, mere days before she loses her job.
Meanwhile, Katie juggles numerous low-paid jobs, which fail to bring in sufficient cash to pay the rent on her grandmother’s plush apartment.
“You’ve got four days: pay or move on,” the landlord (Lawrence Mandley) barks.
Mutual gay friend Jesse (Justin Long) suggests that homeless Lauren moves in with cash-strapped Katie, thereby saving both of them from the streets.
Reluctantly, the young women agree and late one night, Lauren overhears her flatmate squealing with delight as a phone sex operator.
Lauren suggests they set up their own operation called 1900-MMM-HMMM.
The saucy venture flourishes, sowing the seeds of friendship between the flatmates.
While Lauren plucks up the courage to man the hotline – “I don’t want to be boring any more!” – Katie falls head over heels for a nice guy customer called Sean (Mark Webber).
‘For A Good Time, Call…’ is galvanised by the appealing double-act of Miller and Graynor, who clearly have a hoot with their foul-mouthed shrieks down the telephone receiver.
Their characters are poorly developed, though, and the speed bumps in their relationship are clearly sign-posted.
Long camps it up a treat in an eye-catching supporting role as the BFF who stares adoring at his pet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and remarks, “Doesn’t she look like a young Carol Channing?”
There are amusing cameos including Seth Rogen as an airline pilot, who berates a colleague for interrupting him in full telephonic flow – “I’m busy. Delay the flight!” – and Nia Vardalos as a steely publishing house editor, who suggests Lauren’s foray into adult entertainment is a phase like her own dabble with same-sex relationships.
“I’m a hasbian,” she deadpans.
There’s a Frankenword for everything nowadays and the word for Travis’s film is passable.
Star Rating: 2½