If you have a very familiar story, going through the usual character beats and formula that has been demonstrated in many movies before it, you have to find a new way of packaging your film. Luckily, For a Good Time Call seems to have found its niche quite effectively, with very few movies actually focusing on phone sex lines.
The movie is lucky to have this as a solid story thread because everything else about the movie is hugely familiar and subsequently very predictable. It’s a story about two very different people, who actually have a background of hatred, being forced to live together. Already we have about a dozen other movies, most obviously the movie The Odd Couple.
You can probably guess where the rest of the movie goes, with their new-found business bringing the two together and then consequences (that could have been solved with some actual sensible talking) threaten to destroy everything they’ve built and worked for.
It’s lucky that the concrete to the story is the phone sex business. This is actually quite a unique idea for this kind of comedy and opens the door to funny moments and original ideas. None of them are exactly groundbreaking or uproariously hilarious but will keep you interest for longer than is probably warranted.
It also helps that the cast of the movie is also very able and throw themselves into the roles well. As you’d expect from a comedy focusing primarily on sex, you have one girl who is quite uninhibited and open sexually and another who is more uptight and uncomfortable. Again, it won’t take long for you to guess where this movie is going and how the story will play out, but Ari Gaynor and Lauren Miller actually give a good show of it and are another reason why the movie is so watchable. Justin Long also helps support the movie and demonstrates why he is the go-to “best friend” in many generic comedies.
When it comes down to it, that is exactly what this movie is – a generic comedy. Once they have exhausted the material and story surrounding the sex line, there is very little left that you won’t have seen many times before. It is packaged in a new way and has some very interesting takes on recognisable material but won’t exactly stay with you after the credits have rolled.
Overall, For a Good Time Call is really a generic, odd couple comedy, hidden under an original device. To its credit, the movie does a lot with its unique aspect but it doesn’t take long for the same old storylines to emerge and anyone that has seen even a handful of these types of movies will guess where the story is going.
Rating – 2.5
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