For a good time, call...: Disarmingly entertaining, or just plain vulgar?

Of the lonely ways to spend money, paying for phone sex strikes me as the most pathetic. A prostitute is really there. A phone sex companion is only a sound track for masturbation, and the man who needs one must have a desperate lack of imagination. Equally depressing to me are some of the reviews received by For a Good Time, Call... the story of two former college enemies who team up as phone sexers and become gal pals. "Enough laughs and goodwill to be disarmingly entertaining," I read in one review. "A feel-good raunch-com," says another. I quote them as a public service, since one male reviewer thinks women could like this movie enough to come back a second time "and bring their boyfriends."

I wouldn't want to be one of those boyfriends. I'm not objecting to the movie on grounds of taste, but because it is stupid, vulgar, crass and mercilessly formulaic. On second thought, maybe I am objecting on grounds of taste. It is quite possible for the vulgar to be funny, but to succeed, it must rise to a certain genius. Shortly after Mel Brooks released "The Producers," I was in an elevator with him when a woman said, "Your film was nothing but vulgar." Brooks regarded her sternly. "Madam," he said, "my film rises BELOW vulgarity."

The story involves Lauren and Katie (Lauren Anne Miller and Ari Graynor), who have hated each other ever since a college party malfunction involving urine. Now Lauren is desperate when her boyfriend (James Wolk) announces he is moving to Italy and orders her to leave their apartment immediately. Meanwhile, Katie faces eviction from her late grandmother's rent-controlled luxury apartment overlooking Gramercy Park. Their needs are matched up by a mutual best friend from college named Jesse (Justin Long), who is gay, fulfilling the unwritten requirement that any male capable of being the best friend of two women at the same time must be gay, as a straight man cannot be best friends with more than one female, at most. 

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