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Focus Acquires Raunchy Comedy 'For a Good Time, Call...'

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood January 24, 2012 at 6:01PM

Focus Features made its first buy at Sundance today, paying some $2 million to beat out rival bidders to acquire worldwide rights to first-time director Jamie Travis's "For a Good Time, Call..." The film, which had its world premiere this week in Park City, is a timely comedy about two young women with little in common who room together in New York. When the reserved Lauren finds out that Katie, her roommate, works part-time as a phone-sex operator, the two strike up a friendship and a business partnership to boot, starting their own 1-900 business.
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<img src="http://cms.indiewire.com/cms/script/ckeditor/images/spacer.gif?t=A39E" alt="Unknown Object" data-preview="http://d1oi7t5trwfj5d.cloudfront.net/56/fb90c046ce11e197b6123138165f92/file/For-A-Good-Time,-Call-first-look-2.jpeg" data-label="For a Good Time" data-id="56fb90c0-46ce-11e1-97b6-123138165f92" />Focus Features made its first buy at Sundance today, acquiring the worldwide rights to first-time director Jamie Travis's "For a Good Time, Call..."  The film, which had its world premiere this week at Sundance, is a timely comedy about two young women with little in common who room together in New York.  When the reserved Lauren finds out that Katie, her roommate, works part-time as a phone-sex operator, the two strike up a friendship and a business partnership to boot, starting their own 1-900 business.
 
Check out the roundup of reviews below.
 
<a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/for-a-good-time-call-review-sundance-2012-284094">The Hollywood Reporter</a>, John DeFore
<blockquote>A feel-good raunch-com whose dirty-talk plot comes from a convincingly female perspective instead of feeling like cut-and-paste Apatow, <em>For a Good Time, Call...</em> does ably follow the Apatow ratio of sweet to salty, and keeps the audience laughing consistently. Commercial prospects are strong and, after <em>Bridesmaids</em>, buyers should be especially eager for this kind of laffer.</blockquote>
<a href="http://www.screendaily.com/reviews/the-latest/for-a-good-time-call/5036844.article">Screendaily</a>, Tim Grierson
<blockquote>Two mismatched female twentysomething New York roommates discover the one thing that can bring them together – starting a professional phone-sex line – in<em>For A Good Time, Call…</em>, an uneven comedy that has “guilty pleasure” written all over it. The feature debut from director Jamie Travis feels thin story-wise (despite being less than 90 minutes long) and puts too much stock in its own would-be naughtiness, so it’s a very good thing that leads Ari Graynor and co-writer Lauren Anne Miller have such ebullient chemistry, which helps forgive a lot.</blockquote>
<a href="http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117946911/">Variety</a>, Dennis Harvey
<blockquote>A genial starring vehicle for talented comediennes Lauren Anne Miller and Ari Graynor, Jamie Travis' "For a Good Time, Call … " doesn't rise much above sitcom level in material or execution, but provides enough laughs and goodwill to be disarmingly entertaining. Potty-mouthed yet basically harmless -- one protag even turns out to be a closet virgin -- this comedy about two cash-strapped Manhattanites who get ahead by operating a phone-sex service could score a modest theatrical breakout.</blockquote>
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Unknown ObjectFocus Features made its first buy at Sundance today, acquiring the worldwide rights to first-time director Jamie Travis's "For a Good Time, Call..."  The film, which had its world premiere this week at Sundance, is a timely comedy about two young women with little in common who room together in New York.  When the reserved Lauren finds out that Katie, her roommate, works part-time as a phone-sex operator, the two strike up a friendship and a business partnership to boot, starting their own 1-900 business.

For a Good Time
Film.Biz.Fans
Focus Features made its first buy at Sundance today, paying some $2 million to beat out rival bidders to acquire worldwide rights to first-time director Jamie Travis's "For a Good Time, Call..."  The film, which had its world premiere this week in Park City, is a timely comedy about two young women with little in common who room together in New York.  When the reserved Lauren finds out that Katie, her roommate, works part-time as a phone-sex operator, the two strike up a friendship and a business partnership to boot, starting their own 1-900 business.

Check out the roundup of reviews below.

The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore

A feel-good raunch-com whose dirty-talk plot comes from a convincingly female perspective instead of feeling like cut-and-paste Apatow, For a Good Time, Call... does ably follow the Apatow ratio of sweet to salty, and keeps the audience laughing consistently. Commercial prospects are strong and, after Bridesmaids, buyers should be especially eager for this kind of laffer.

Screendaily, Tim Grierson

Two mismatched female twentysomething New York roommates discover the one thing that can bring them together – starting a professional phone-sex line – inFor A Good Time, Call…, an uneven comedy that has “guilty pleasure” written all over it. The feature debut from director Jamie Travis feels thin story-wise (despite being less than 90 minutes long) and puts too much stock in its own would-be naughtiness, so it’s a very good thing that leads Ari Graynor and co-writer Lauren Anne Miller have such ebullient chemistry, which helps forgive a lot.

Variety, Dennis Harvey

A genial starring vehicle for talented comediennes Lauren Anne Miller and Ari Graynor, Jamie Travis' "For a Good Time, Call … " doesn't rise much above sitcom level in material or execution, but provides enough laughs and goodwill to be disarmingly entertaining. Potty-mouthed yet basically harmless -- one protag even turns out to be a closet virgin -- this comedy about two cash-strapped Manhattanites who get ahead by operating a phone-sex service could score a modest theatrical breakout.

This article is related to: Sundance 2012 News, Festivals, Festivals, Sundance 2012, Sundance


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.