For a Good Time, Call... Jamie Travis

For a Good Time, Call... Jamie Travis
5
For a typically structured, relatively lightweight odd couple comedy, Toronto, ON director Jamie Travis's feature-length debut punches above its weight class. Though it's well paced and adequately shot, most of the credit is due to co-writers Lauren Anne Miller and Katie Anne Naylon for penning an appropriately bawdy script that still manages to nail how differing personality types tend to over- and under-compensate for sexual insecurities. Of course, without bold, spirited performances from the central cast, those frequently filthy words would fall flat. Luckily for everyone involved, Ari Graynor, Lauren Anne Miller and Justin Long are more than game. Some unexpected cameos from a few dirty comedy titans don't hurt either. Loosely inspired by Katie Anne Naylon's actual experiences as a phone sex operator in college, For a Good Time, Call… forces two opposing personalities with negative history (a face full of piss is grudge-worthy) to become roommates due to financial circumstance. Extrovert Katie (Graynor) can't afford her posh NYC apartment after the landlord terminates the building's historical rent control, while Lauren (Miller) needs a new place to live after her boyfriend goes on a trip to get some space from the rut of their mundane relationship (you know the passion is dead when the bra stays on during coitus). Enter mutual flamboyant friend Jesse (Justin Long) to play platonic matchmaker. At first, there's clashing aplenty, but adhering to classic film formula, they become fast friends, bonding over blossoming confidence and finding empowerment in running a phone sex line together before an inevitable conflict allows for a tearful resolution. The positive depiction of female sexuality — masturbation is presented as a natural, healthy activity — is admirable, as is the acknowledgement that the flashiest personas are often compensating for deep insecurities, making the predictable dramatic conveniences easy enough to overlook. Disappointingly, "A Look Inside" is a pathetic excuse for a "bonus" feature. Why bother including a promo piece made up almost entirely of clips from the film? At least the feature commentary track is a spicy affair; the chemistry between Graynor, Miller, Naylon and Travis is palpable, forthcoming and frequently as funny as much of the film proper. And kudos to the Timber Timbre and Austra soundtrack shout-outs. Some forgettable deleted scenes with extra dildo action are also included. (Alliance)