Ten years ago, tipsy party girl Katie (Ari Graynor) spilled a cup of her own pee on uptight Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller), who promptly kicked Katie out of the car in a bad neighborhood. Reunited by their stereotypically overplayed gay pal (Justin Long), this two-woman mutual resentment society now must share the rent-controlled Manhattan apartment passed along to Katie. She tries to spook her incoming roomie: “My grandmother’s ghost talks in her sleep. About the holocaust.” She profiles Lauren as a privileged Long Islander who was always told: “You can be the first pretty president.” Katie proves slightly more original as a phraser of phone sex for her regulars. Lauren becomes a business partner after a publishing career stalls. Better with bookkeeping than “phone-boning,” she pleads with a dissatisfied caller: “I will lick whatever you want me to lick.” Peeve pulls a 180 and the duo coos “I love you” to one another by the end, after a couple rom-com setbacks and make-ups. “For a Good Time, Call…” is awful. Still, it’s buoyant in a vacant way, even if anchored in the Florida State University dorm pairing of co-writers Naylon and Miller. First-time director Jamie Travis lacks any knack for making anything of this sophomoric material. With Ari Graynor, Justin Long, Mark Webber, James Wolk, Mimi Rogers, Don McManus, Nia Vardalos. 85m. (Bill Stamets)
“For a Good Time, Call…” opens Friday in limited release.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.