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|Gay best friend brings female roommates together for raunchy comedy|
|by Jim Farmer|
|August 31, 2012 00:00|
In gay director Jamie Travis’ raunchy new comedy “For a Good Time, Call…” two women who loathe each other initially grow to bond over, of all things, a phone sex operation.
Lauren Powell (Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie Steele (Ari Graynor) have an unpleasant first meeting in college but years later, thanks to their mutual gay best friend Jesse (Justin Long), decide to room together out of financial necessity in New York. Prim Lauren finds out that Katie is a phone sex operator and, with her own professional life in limbo, decides to give it a go herself. In the film the women grow to fall in love with each other, but only as friends.
Graynor, Miller (who co-wrote the film), Travis and co-writer Katie Anne Naylon were in Atlanta recently promoting the flick, which made waves at Sundance earlier this year.
The filmmaking team knew going in they weren’t making a documentary on the industry but felt they could mine it for laughs. Miller feels the success of last year’s “Bridesmaids” has opened the door for films that show women can be as down and out dirty as men.
“There was sort of a gap for a little while between the ‘80s and more recently that there really weren’t just straight comedies about women about things besides finding a man,” says Miller, who is married to Seth Rogen, who has a cameo in the film. “A few here and there, but really ‘Bridesmaids’ was the one that re-awoke that genre.
“It is super exciting. There seems to be a new wave and hopefully it won’t be even a ‘thing’ anymore. It’s just another comedy; you don’t have to say it’s an R rated female comedy,” Miller says.
When Travis saw “Bridesmaids,” he remembers thinking “why don’t I see more movies like this?”
“It felt so fresh and reminded me so much of the films from the ‘80s that I loved with Goldie Hawn and Shelley Long and Bette Midler,” he says. “Outrageous Fortune” is a personal fave.
“For a Good Time, Call…” marks the second time Long has played gay following “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.” Travis worked hard not to make his character a stereotype.
“Justin is such a talented actor; he brought so much to it,” Travis says. “He was better than we could have ever imagined. He took this character and made it so alive. I believe he was interested in me and my persona and my physicality. This became evident on our very first phone call that he had ideas about the role that were a bit different than mine. I wanted it to be a very grounded character that didn’t subscribe to stereotypes."
Miller, Graynor and Naylon all say they have gay best friends in their own life.
“I’m an only child and I have a gay brother,” Graynor says. “We were saying that the relationship between a woman and a gay man is so special, I think, because relationships between women, there can often be hints of competition in there. Even in healthy relationships, totally loving relationships, by the very nature of being two women there is innate competition.
“Then, with a straight woman and a straight male, there is the question of sexual tension, but with a straight women and a gay male there is neither of those two things in place,” she says.
Travis has screened the film to both straight and LGBT audiences and has been pleased with the reactions.
“For me, I have always felt confident that gay men would love this film,” he says. “A lot of that is that because there is such a reverence for women in it, and that is something I feel and share with many of my gay male counterparts, this love and adoration for the girl friends in our lives. Lauren and Katie adore each other, and in any way the movie adores them, puts them on a pretty pink pedestal.”
“For a Good Time, Call…” opens in Atlanta area theaters on Sept. 7.
Top photo: A mutual gay best friend brings Lauren Powell (Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie Steele (Ari Graynor) together to launch a phone sex line in ‘For a Good Time, Call…’ (Publicity photo via Focus Features)
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