For a Good Time, Call… (2012) dir. Jamie Travis
I enjoyed this film a lot more than I was expecting! In fact, probably one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen this year. It’s a light-hearted comedy; the basic plot is about two flatmates who run a phone sex business.
I saw that it had a 50:50 split amongst reviewers* so I was going into it feeling a bit iffy — plus, there are a lot of really stereotypical set ups: the brunette is “serious” and “uptight”, the blonde is “clueless” and “slutty”; they start off hating each other; one of the “regular callers” crosses over to love interest; there are parents who disapprove etc. etc.
But there were moments that were also really lovely. The hating each other only lasts for 5 mins — thank god — before they get to the best friends phase of the film (which, let’s be honest, what we’re all here for).
And then it becomes a film about female friendships and healthy sex. The script is written by a woman — Lauren Miller, who plays the brunette btw — and you can definitely tell. There are some really great friendship moments; great moments about feeling good about yourself. And there’s very little judgment about sexual experience — in fact, two scenes I’d say that were actually really lovely. And all orientated around making the female character feel safe and comfortable and loved. I was a little touched, got to admit, and I wish the world actually worked like that.
The other thing that stood out for me was the surprise!bisexuality — maybe it was obvious to everyone else that they were setting up for a friends and flatmates and lovers endgame? But I thought this was just a female friendship plot — actually, it’s all a bit ambiguous. I can’t quite tell at the end whether they are just really good friends or we are supposed to read something romantic into their relationship. — Not because the film is being deliberately coy/queer-baiting. I think I’m just a bit dense.
Or just afraid to be hopeful. I’m always looking for queer narratives that do not erase bisexuality. And, not only does this film depict bisexuality without it being a film about bisexuality (i.e. like films with predominately POC casts without the film itself being about racism — need so much!), it also depicts bisexuality in a positive way. It’s a loving relationship between real people — wow, can you imagine that? Haha, I can’t believe that’s my bar for bisexual depictions: 1) in a relationship, and 2) liking each other. No ~greedy~ stereotypes, no ~indecisive~, no ~closeted gay~. — that’s all I want: an acknowledgement that bisexuals are real people who can have loving and committed relationships!!
I enjoyed this film so much I would actually recommend it to my best friend. — Hey, if you’re reading this, here’s a film we should watch sometime!
Oh, and it’s totally pretty. I just realised while shifting through the screencaps^ that they actually share each other’s clothes. There’s a lot of really nice clothes. Lauren (also the name of the character) gets progressively more chic as the film goes on — insert some sort of Cold Mountain** costume analysis thing here.
* Although I’ve since noticed a lot of the reviewers who hate this film are guys. Is it just because there aren’t a lot of female reviewers? Or is there an actual gender blindness. The things that make this film for me often aren’t commented on at all by these male reviewers. Here’s one for comparison.
** Cold Mountain was our year 12 film study for English. Nicole Kidman’s character’s clothes gradually change from puffy white dresses to earthy trousers — signally her transition from Fragile Maiden to Women of the Wild. Shit film. But I can’t stop thinking of Cold Mountain now every time I notice costumes in films.
What’s Lauren’s transition even supposed to be? …Ah. Sex goddess.