I have this issue with reviews that I read on websites that I trust. There are just too many movies out there for me to watch, so I trust very good writers that have never steered me wrong when to see a movie and when not to. In the case of For a Good Time, Call… I thought that premise sounded pretty great, but I was dismayed by the lackluster and generally unenthusiastic reviews that came out, so I let this one go by unseen until I was sitting alone late at night in my parents’ basement looking for something to watch. I figured that it wouldn’t be as bad as the chance I took on Divergent a couple of days previously (review where I rip that movie a new one to come shortly) so I watched the entire thing from beginning to end and I have one thing to say to those reviewers that are inevitably reading this right now because I am super important and everyone who is anyone is reading this blog with bated breath: you are awesome but were wrong when it comes to this movie.
Lauren moves in with Katie after she gets dumped for being too boring by her boyfriend. Katie and Lauren have a grudge against each other that involved puking in a car. Katie is a loose cannon always willing to put her sexuality out on display for everyone to see. Lauren is an uptight woman is scared of sex. When Lauren is let go from her job, she decides to take over Katie’s job as a phone sex operator and turn it into an independent business. As a result, the two become tighter and they forget their long standing grudge in order to make their business lucrative. Katie teaches Lauren how to loosen up with her sexuality and Lauren teaches Katie that it is okay to be like someone and not be emotionally detached.
For a Good Time, Call… is essentially about two women starting a phone sex hotline. But the movie evolves into more than just a joke filled way to pass some time and talk about sex. It becomes a study on how friendship between women evolves. The best friendships that I have ever had have been with women. There is more passion and understanding there than I could ever get with a person of my opposite sex. However the fiercest rivalries, such as they are, have also been with women, because they understand just how vulnerable you can be with certain aspects of yourself because they are vulnerable in the exact same ways. For a Good Time, Call… is best when it explores just how wonderful a friendship between women can be and how terrible it also can be at the same time. Katie and Lauren become so close that each one knows where their insecurities are and knows exactly how to push them. So when one perceives a hurt from the other, that insecurity button gets pushed so hard that it gets stuck down for some time. What makes this movie unique and worth watching is that these women are able to reconcile and find their love for each other again through their own actions and not through men. They realize that they love each other in a pure and sisterly way.
About halfway through the film, Lauren gets the idea to become a phone sex operator herself. She is interested in the power that it holds for the anonymous men on the other end of the line. Katie trains her and shows her just how to get a man off using only her voice. In a following scene, Lauren emerges from her room after fielding a call with her hair messed up and a sex look in her eyes. She had obviously just been masturbating while on the line with a man. At this moment, Lauren’s transition from prude to a sexual being is complete. What I find interesting about this scene is not the place within the plot that it functions, but the unabashed acknowledgement that women can derive pleasure within themselves. We do not see the act itself, but we can see just how calm and empowered the act has on her. The two women joke about it, but never once say anything against a woman masturbating. I find this scene to be refreshing and fundamental to my enjoyment of the movie as a whole.
This movie is not perfect. It lacks stakes at certain points and the plot machinations are sometimes forced unnaturally in to the story in order to find the way to the ending. Even with these flaws in place, I can still find something worth watching here that fascinates me and makes me want to return to it again.