You'll warm to these good time girls
11:32 GMT, 2 November 2012
FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… (18)
Verdict: Smutty sitcom with redeeming aspects
Here’s a paradox: a justifiably 18-rated comedy that ends up too cute and inoffensive for the crowd who adored Bridesmaids and Sex And The City.
A nice but boring would-be book publisher (played by the film’s co-writer Lauren Miller) who’s out of work and bereft of a boyfriend and an apartment moves in with an outrageous, pole-dancing slut (Ari Graynor, who seems to have watched a lot of Mae West movies). Together, they start a company specialising in phone sex.
The film keeps trying to be filthy and outrageous, but is actually rather timid. It hints at a lesbian relationship between the two, but then appears afraid to let them consummate it. It’s not for prudes or anyone who takes a less than rose-tinted view of commercialised sex.
Three's a crowd (l-r): Ari Graynor, Justin Long and Lauren Miller who star in the 18-rated comedy
Only in modern Hollywood would an obsessive caller to a sex-line (Mark Webber) be portrayed as a viable, attractive boyfriend.
And first-time director Jamie Travis’s film promotes the dubious notion that the easiest way for an intelligent, attractive young woman to make big money is by selling sexual favours.
If you stop to think about the issues it raises, the film is more demeaning than empowering, more depressing than hilarious.
For A Good Time would be easy to condemn as a smutty, salacious, shallow sitcom with a mercenary view of sex, but it’s redeemed by the two likeable central performances from Miller and Graynor.
Justin Long manages miraculously to breathe life into the cliched role of the women’s gay best friend, even if cameos by various other stars (including Miller’s real-life husband Seth Rogen) are distracting, rather than funny.
I had a less than good time, but it did occasionally make me laugh.
Underlying the film is a view of female friendship that does give it a certain warmth and, there’s no other word for it, charm.