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Blu-ray Review: For a Good Time, Call…

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In For a Good Time, Call… a couple of ordinary girls start a phone sex line so they can make a little extra cash. It’s an amusing premise that doesn’t end up going as far as it could have. Guys may find the sex talk a little tame, and girls might find the leading ladies more annoying than likeable. Stars Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller give the roles their all, but the story lacks narrative drive. The film benefits from some cool surprise cameos, and an amusing performance from Justin Long as the girls’ best friend, but the film stalls in the story department. For much of the film it feels as though nothing really happens. It’s as if they felt a couple of girls talking dirty on the phone was enough to sustain the film.

Lauren (Miller) is down on her luck. Her boyfriend of two years, Charlie (James Wolk), dumps her because he thinks she’s boring. Then she is let go from her job. Not only has Charlie broken up with her, he has kicked her out of the apartment they shared, leaving her homeless. Lauren’s friend Jesse (Long) has a solution for her. She can move in with Katie (Graynor), who is also suffering a financial setback. Katie lives in her recently deceased grandmother’s Gramercy Park apartment, and the landlord is raising the rent. It’s a perfect plan, except for the fact that Lauren and Katie can’t stand each other. It seems 10 years before, the girls had a bad run-in at a frat party and have avoided each other ever since, despite their mutual friendship with Jesse.

It turns out phone sex is the bonding element the girls needed to mend their relationship. When Lauren discovers Katie is only making one dollar each minute as a phone sex operator, she suggests more money could be made if they just got their own line. The more demure Lauren doesn’t want to do the talking, but she agrees to run the business affairs while the more outgoing Katie handles the calls. It’s a good plan, though it seems a little outdated in today’s online world. Nonetheless, the calls roll in. From there we get many montages of the girls receiving calls and running their growing business. Things run amok briefly when they attempt to hire another operator who doesn’t quite work out. It was an unfortunately underdeveloped plot line that ultimately didn’t really add anything to the film, though it could have if it had been explored a little more.

Instead we get more phone sex montages, this time with Katie finally jumping in to give it a try. There really isn’t any conflict until the very end, which left me feeling empty for most of the film. I know the girls were supposed to learn something about themselves, but it comes too little too late. When things wrap up at the end it feels perfunctory rather than emotional. There wasn’t enough substance throughout the film to make me care all that much about where they ended up.

The Blu-ray is presented in a 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that looks perfectly fine. The colors are bright and cheery, the skin tones natural. It’s everything to be expected from a current film. It’s a sharp picture with clearly defined detail. There isn’t anything to complain about picture-wise here. The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround. This is a dialogue-heavy film with the sound mostly coming from the front channels. At times the dialogue even seemed a little unnaturally loud in the mix. The subwoofer and rear speakers have an unexpected kick as the bass of the dance music soundtrack thumps along.

The Blu-ray contains both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film. The unrated version only expands the film by two minutes. There is also a commentary track with director Jamie Travis, writer Katie Ann Naylon, and actresses Miller (who also co-wrote), and Graynor. There are about five minutes of deleted scenes. For the most part it’s easy to see why they were cut. And rounding it out is a four-minute EPK “making of” piece that doesn’t really offer any true insights into the film. A DVD and UV digital copy also come with the set.

Overall, For A Good Time, Call… is a passably entertaining but unsubstantial comedy. It wasn’t as funny as it could have been, making the film forgettable. Justin Long was amusing as the girls’ friend. He pushed his character to some very funny extremes, adding a little extra life to the film.

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About Sherry Lipp

Sherry Lipp is an entertainment and food writer who specializes in film and television reviews. She has published the gluten and grain-free cookbook Don't Skip Dessert.