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‘For a Good Time, Call’ Co-Stars on Lady Loving

Published: Friday, September 7, 2012

Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:09

For a Good Time Call

Focus Features

Katie Naylon and Lauren Miller could have written a screenplay about anything, but they chose to write about what they knew – friendship and phone sex.

Miller calls it fate the way she and Naylon were randomly assigned as roommates at Florida State University.

“It was one of those things,” Miller said. “I had long hair and a Dave Matthews T-shirt and asked where the recycling was and instantly [Katie] called me ‘recycling girl’ and thought that I was awful so there was judgment there in the beginning, but in the beginning that’s what girls do.”

Now best friends and writing partners, they created “For A Good Time, Call…” with the help of director Jamie Travis and Ari Graynor, who stars in the film opposite Miller and is also an executive producer.

“For A Good Time, Call…” tells the story of two unlikely friends, played by Graynor and Miller, who find themselves forced to live together despite being enemies. Graynor plays Katie, a free spirit and big-time talker who occasionally works as a phone sex operator. Miller plays Lauren, a reliable and predictable-to-a-fault woman who is constantly worried.

When Lauren finds out about Katie’s vocal pastime, she suggests going into business together and starting up a line. Operating a phone sex line and navigating the waters of female friendship provide plenty of hilarious drama along the way.

Naylon and Miller named their characters after themselves as homage to Seth Rogan (Miller’s husband) and Evan Goldberg who did the same for their movie “Superbad.”

However, the characters are not so much based on them as they are inspired.

This is where “For A Good Time, Call…” differs from most movies about single 20-somethings living in the Big Apple. The female characters are not stereotypically two-dimensional nor are they pinned against each other for dramatic purposes.

“Girls are judge-y off the bat, that’s the truth,” Graynor said. “What’s amazing in life and in the script, which I loved so much when I read it, is the second someone is willing to let their guard down just the littlest bit it’s like diving into a beautiful, perfectly [temperate] lake.”

The initial feud between Katie and Lauren on screen is comical but as most humans do they try to make it work. Films such as “Bride Wars” and “The Devil Wears Prada” pin women against each other for comedic purposes, but that’s not what Miller and Naylon wanted to focus on.

“Those movies are focusing on the early part – the judgment, the nasty, the mean, the cattiness that does exist that I’ve been a part of and I’m sure [Katie and Ari] have been a part of as well in their relationships,” Miller said.

Although Miller admits that writing those scenes in which Katie and Lauren don’t get along was really fun, she said their fighting is not what they wanted to focus on.

“When [Katie and Lauren] started to fall in love, that was a whole different kind of fun thing to write,” Miller said. “For us, it was an amazing thing to write because that’s how I feel about my girlfriends and I love seeing that up there.”

This transition between being acquaintances to friends can happen fairly quickly with women, and Naylon likes to call it having “the night” with someone.

“There were a few girls I had ‘the night’ with, which was not sexual,” said Naylon. “In high school and middle school you see a girl at a party or you have a girl sleep over and you stay up all night talking. You may not be friends with her come junior year but you know that girl. I know exactly when her parents got divorce and maybe she’s a cheerleader now and I’m not but that’s my friend. I’m just waiting to sign her year book.”

“The night” happens in the film as well and is heartwarming to watch.

“We wanted to focus on the loving part of friendship and how you can love your girlfriends, not in a sexual way, but in a friend way,” Miller said.

It seems easier to not have to try and depict real emotions and go for the funny line rather than the more honest reality. “For A Good Time, Call…” doesn’t take the easy road and it’s partly the reason Graynor agreed to be a part of the film.

“Everything else but the intricacies of female life and friendship and the emotional lives and connections, I think is hard to make into a story,” Graynor said. “It’s hard to dramatize that without the drama being like, ‘Fuck you, you stupid bitch,’ or ‘You stole my boyfriend.’”

Naylon said the best way to make women compete is to have them go for the same guy or the same promotion. 

“That’s the story they’re telling,” she said. “We weren’t telling that story and we didn’t want a mean spirited kind of humor. That’s why we did our own thing.”

And that’s exactly what they did. Knowing full well just what it means to befriend your roommate, Miller and Naylon wrote exactly what they wanted and worked hard to make their vision come true.

It may be a movie by women about women but it is certainly not just for women.

Graynor said men might not bond with each other the way women might, but they will still be able to enjoy the tragically hilarious lives of mismatched roommates.

“Comedy is comedy and doesn’t have to be gender specific,” Graynor said. “Even though their dynamic and friend love is innately feminine in a way, all the humor around it is just funny and not gender specific.”

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