seems like every genre and subgenre will eventually jump the shark. They all build with success and then eventually get to a point where they're no longer effective and destroy the whole genre. Usually that happens over the course of years and years. For a Good Time, Call
is a jump the shark moment and it's a real shame because it comes at the expense of the adult comedy with the all-female lead cast.
For a Good Time, Call stars Lauren Miller (50/50) and Ari Graynor (The Sitter, Date Night) as two college frenemies that are forced to live together in New York City to afford an awesome apartment. When things don't turn out the way they hope, they choose to turn to running their own phone sex operation. They have a gay friend played by Justin Long (Drag Me to Hell, Going the Distance), who is an absolutely stereotypical character that almost verges on offensive.
Normally in movies like this, hilarity ensues but not in this case. In fact, everything pans out exactly the way you'd expect it to with absolutely nothing funny happening. It's painful to watch it play out because you spend the whole time searching for something humorous. It was almost as if Miller, who also wrote it, was hoping that seeing pretty girls talk dirty would be shocking and funny enough to coast 90 minutes on. It isn't and it's almost pathetic to see. I'm not even sure how anyone could've found this script funny. So how did it get made? Great question and I think I know how.
The film has three scenes that are funny and the reason why is because they feature cameos from Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen and Ken Marino (Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten). Now, it's easy to accuse me of being chauvinistic and saying the only time the movie is funny is when men show up. I assure you that that's not the case. These are three seasoned comedic pros and Marino especially is a genius. The scenes last less than five minutes but are funny enough to make you remember them. Back to my explanation as to how this movie got made; it relates to these scenes. All three of them are friends of Miller and Graynor; Miller is even married to Rogen. The whole film screams of friends helping friends and it's awful because of it.
By the time the movie is over, even those with virginal ears are numb to hearing dirty words. And those of us that are well-steeped in dirty words and foul jokes are leaving the theater as fast as we can to watch our copies of Bridesmaids in hopes that we would still hang on to the all-female adult comedy a little longer before is dies its untimely and torturous death.
For a Good Time, Call (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: D-