by Hiko Mitsuzuka
In the surprisingly heartfelt sex-com For a Good Time Call..., by-the-book Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller, who also co-penned the script) gets dumped by her boyfriend and is forced to find a place to live in Manhattan while also searching for her dream job. Taking the advice of her gay BFF (a hilariously animated Justin Long), she moves in with Katie (the hilarious Ari Graynor), a shameless, strippercising sassypants who needs a roommate to share a gorgeous apartment in Gramercy Park (an inheritance from Katie's grandmother).
Reluctantly, the two broke girls suck it up and become roommates, but once Lauren finds out Katie's been moonlighting as a phone sex operator to make some fast cash, things take a turn for the kinky. Seeing this as a great business opportunity, Lauren proposes that they start their own phone sex hotline. Soon they start reaping the financial benefits after cultivating a sizable clientele that consists of a few famous faces in cameo roles (Seth Rogen as a stressed-out pilot, Kevin Smith as a careless cab driver).
HIH got to preview the movie earlier this week, and it definitely proves to be both hysterical and heartwarming. In a post-Bridesmaids world, For a Good Time, Call... represents the next step towards gender equality in R-rated comedy. Rock on, ladies.
And if you want to eavesdrop on a conversation segment with the stars and writers of the film, well, see below...
Ari Graynor: The thing about our movie is, it's raunchy but it's also sweet.
Lauren Anne Miller: I feel that women who watch movies don't see enough stories about real women. [Co-writer] Katie Ann Naylon and I wanted to tell a story of female friendship. Phone sex was a setting we could tell that in. It could be funny and have truth to it.
Katie Anne Naylon: We knew these movies weren't out there. We saw what Judd Apatow and others were doing, how successful those "bromance" comedies were. It did seem like there was a gap there, but we weren't necessarily trying to fill it...The phone-sex stuff is autobiographical more on my end...I worked for a phone-sex company my freshman year in college, in my dorm room, with another friend of mine...People love hearing about it and the idea of "What do guys say?" So for a screenplay that became a way in, a hook, to turn our passion project about female friendship into a reality.
LAM: It was so fun, writing this movie; trying to come up with what the callers would say, what the girls would say.
KAN: We wrote sitting side by side.
AG: I loved the character arc that the character of Katie has. In the beginning she seems one way, and then your realize that there is a surprising amount of layers to her. She has a lot of defenses up and uses her brash sense of humor as a shield. You think she has all the answers, but she doesn't; she has so much to learn. There was a lot in the character that I related to.
LAM: Katie and decided that we should both be producers, that I would star in it, and that we would make it independently, because no one wanted to --
LAM and KAN: -- take a chance.
KAN: But women do re-see, re-watch movies again and again and again. Women obsess, and things get a following.
LAM: When you make an indie movie, what you set out to do might not be what happens in the end. There were many steps for us to take in finding how things worked.
AG: Being an executive producer on the movie, it's the first time I've been involved at this level. I've learned so much in front of the camera, and I felt like I had something to offer behind it -- and more to learn there, certainly on the development side...Lauren and Katie and I are all with the same management company. I came on board this movie in early 2011, but I had been sent the script about a year before that. I was told, "These clients of ours have written a fantastic script," and I later found out that Lauren and Katie had written it with me in mind --
KAN: We needed a young female actor who was funny and fresh.
LAM: When we started the movie and thinking "Who can be in it?" I had seen Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and was quite obsessed with Ari after seeing her in it. She is a rare talent.
KAN: She was the only girl for the part. She has great range.
AG: How flattering!
LAM: We sent her this love letter and begged her to be in the movie.
AG: I read the script and immediately loved it. I found it to be such a smart, funny, unique and surprisingly sweet story about friends.
LAM: She got back to us right away, with an equally lovely letter back.
AG: I felt immediately that we would be kindred spirits, which we absolutely were. Being invited to come on as an executive producer was the icing on the cake.
For a Good Time Call... opens in select theaters tomorrow, August 31.