Saturday, September 8, 2012

Girls Just Want to Talk Dirty

By Skip Sheffield

Sex is funny.

Sex is also tragic and baffling but almost always interesting. That’s why it has been an enduring subject for stories, poems and plays through the ages.

“For a Good Time Call” is a contemporary R-rated female comedy about phone sex, but it’s more than that.

“Good Time” was co-written by Lauren Miller, who also stars as a good little rich girl also called Lauren. Lauren is trying to break into publishing in New York City with little luck. Her love life is even worse. Her feckless boyfriend Charlie (James Wolk) has decided he wants to break it off and go to Italy. Lauren and Charlie had been together two years and were living together in her late grandmother’s apartment. To add to her misery, Lauren learns her apartment is no longer rent-controlled and will be rented to the highest bidder. Lauren is homeless and jobless in the big city.

Out of misery comes comedy. Lauren answers an ad for a roommate at a posh Grammercy Park apartment and discovers it was placed by an old college nemesis, Katie Steele (Ari Graynor). Lauren and Katie had a falling out as college freshmen ten years previously. Now they are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control.

Yes, “Good Time” has its hook on the rather raunchy subject of phone sex. Lauren discovers Katie has a lucrative side business as a phone sex operator, and inevitably the otherwise prim Lauren is drawn in to the scheme for some quick cash.

“Good Time” is really more about friendship between polar opposites. While the raunchy stuff is at times laugh-out-loud funny, the story is surprisingly sweet and sentimental under the direction of first-time Canadian Jamie Travis.

The humor is accented by some amusing cameos. Justin Long plays again type as the effeminately gay friend of Lauren. Seth Rogen, who is Lauren Miller’s real-life boyfriend, has a hilarious bit as a horny airline pilot. Kevin Smith is a heavy-breathing caller. Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) has a brief but memorable performance as a frosty editor offering Lauren’s dream job. Mimi Rogers has aged noticeably to fill her role as Lauren’s snobby mother.

“Good Time” is not profound but it is better than a trifle. It’s a fair to middling comedy about young adults acting like juveniles.

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