Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Knight at the Movies: For a Good Time, Call...; Lawless
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2012-08-29

This article shared 3946 times since Wed Aug 29, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


We're in the home stretch as far as summer releases goes, which means that a lot of just-okay movies are upon us. For a Good Time Call…, a raunchy sex comedy, and Lawless, a Prohibition-era gangster flick, are two cases in point. Neither film is particularly original or inventive, but an enthusiastic cast in the comedy and a group of terrific young actors in the second certainly don't hurt.

In the age of online instant gratification, does anyone still call phone-sex lines to get off? According to For a Good Time, Call…, they do and call often. The premise of the movie hangs on two twentysomethings who meet one night at a college frat party and can't stand one another. But the brash, slovenly one (the blonde) needs a roomie to help her pay for the expensive, formerly rent-controlled apartment she lives in while the prim, proper one with the exquisite manners (the brunette) has just been dumped by her cutie-pie boyfriend, has lost her job and immediately needs a place to stay.

Katie (Ari Graynor) is the sluttish loudmouth and Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) is the Miss Goody Two Shoes. This mix of human oil and water was brought together in a moment of inspiration by their joint über-gay friend Jesse (Justin Long). Katie loves to talk and it isn't long before Lauren figures out that Katie's working for a phone-sex line. With her business smarts, she and Katie are soon running their own company, with the money pouring in.

After an undercover born-again Christian tries to sabotage their business, Lauren joins Katie as a second operator and then the two really start raking in the dough. Naturally, Lauren's straight-laced parents have no idea what she's up to and Katie's hiding a few secrets of her own. In between these all-too- familiar hijinks, the ladies chat on the phone with a series of horny guys with a lot of the usual offbeat sexual peccadillos (Seth Rogen cameos as one of them) and fall in like with one another.

Graynor—who is as brash and funny here as she was in Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Miller, and who looks and acts like a young Kate Beckinsale (albeit without the British accent)—brings plenty of enthusiasm to the awfully familiar, sitcomish proceedings that seem awfully close to the TV hit Two Broke Girls. Miller wrote the script with Katie Ann Naylon, and openly gay Jamie Travis makes his feature directorial debut.

The movie, with its tired premise, might have been helped and scored some honest laughs (instead of the usual blue jokes and gross out sight gags) had it been set in the early '90s, the era where it belongs. Travis also needs to learn when to reel in his actors—Long's playing of the gay character is so over the top (he plays to the balcony in every one of his scenes) that one can almost hear him lisping as he minces around. Talk about retro.

Short on laughs and high on vulgarity (it's like a modern day, pornographic variation on The Odd Couple), For a Good Time, Call… works in fits and starts—usually when it is focusing on the importance of the friendship between the two young women and displaying some genuine emotion.

Of related interest: Nathan Adloff, another queer director, also made his feature debut this year with Nate & Margaret, the offbeat story of a friendship between a 19-year-old college film major and his eccentric 52-year-old neighbor who dreams of becoming a stand-up comic. Adloff's quietly effective movie is a genuine charmer and is just out on DVD from Breaking Glass Entertainment. (See my interview with him in this issue.)

Lawless, the second also-ran to open in theaters this week, is based on a true story set in Franklin, Va., in 1931, when Prohibition and the Great Depression collided and found desperately poor folks resorting to bootlegging to make ends meet.

Three brothers—Jack (Shia LaBeouf), the baby of the family; Howard (Jason Clarke), the middle one with the violent temper; and Forrest (Tom Hardy), the oldest and the craziest of the lot—run a successful bootlegging business that is portrayed in director John Hillcoat's film as being as exemplary as a manufacturer of Gideon Bibles. The three bros are captains of their local industry, delivering their product on time, looking the other way when little old ladies can't afford to pay for the hooch and making nice nice with the local fuzz.

But into this bucolic scenario comes the nasty dandy Charles Rakes, a special agent with the feds who is charged with enforcing the law. Guy Pearce, who plays this elegant priss, has a whale of a good time (and so do we) as a psychopathic bad guy from hell who is determined to shut down the three brothers and come out smelling as sweet as his heavily pomaded hair. When Pearce is referred to as a "nance" because of his sartorial splendor and heavy use of cologne, he goes ballistic; the idea of even appearing queer is shown to be just cause for murder and unending revenge. The war over the illegitimate booze that ensues is, naturally, filled with plenty of violent set pieces mixed in with a soupcon of romance. (LaBeouf courts a Mennonite gal played by Mia Wasikowska while Hardy hooks up with Jessica Chastain, who's a mystery woman from the big city who shows up looking for refuge.)

The result is old-fashioned and fairly entertaining—and a nice way to pass the time until the new season of Boardwalk Empire starts next month on HBO. However, the attempt to show these violent bootleggers as mythic heroes doesn't quite come off and the movie's long, overextended coda that portrays these thugs as peace-loving, upstanding regular Joes certainly isn't sweet-smelling—it stinks.

Check out my archived reviews at www.windycitymediagroup.com or www.knightatthemovies.com . Readers can leave feedback at the latter website.


This article shared 3946 times since Wed Aug 29, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Trans women arrested, death threats, Russian film, leader apologizes
2021-04-11
Two transgender women facing charges of "attempted homosexuality" (as well as public indecency and not carrying identification) in a high-profile case in Cameroon will spend more than two months behind bars without a trial after a ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Trans singer, 'Pose,' Kate Winslet, Lil Nas X, Broadway
2021-04-11
Trans femme indie-punk artist Evan Greer (she/her) released a dystopian new music video for the song "Surveillance Capitalism," a press release noted. She is using it to launch StopSpotifySurveillance.org with Fight for the Future, where she ...


Gay News

Movie about art sensation born into slavery to premiere April 16
2021-04-08
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts—a film about a man who was born into slavery, and whose works became sensations in the art world—will premiere Friday, April 16, in local virtual cinemas of Music Box Theatre and Facets. ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart hosts 'Disappeared: Chicago's Lost Lesbian Bars' screening, discussion
2021-04-06
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (Gerber/Hart) hosted a virtual screening of Disappeared: Chicago's Lost Lesbian Bars, a short-film documentary that Jacob Pieczynski directed. A panel discussion followed the screening. The 2017 ...


Gay News

'Ma Rainey,' 'Schitt's Creek' win during diverse SAG Awards
2021-04-05
On April 4, a one-hour, pre-taped 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards aired on TNT and TBS, celebrating the best achievements in film and TV performances for 2020. According to Entertainment Weekly, it was a historic night, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Special,' Bonnaroo, Broadway items, Rita Moreno, Bridgerton
2021-04-04
The second season of the Netflix comedy series Special will premiere May 20, a press release noted. The series revolves around Ryan O'Connell, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, and is based on his memoir ...


Gay News

LGBTQ critics group holding awards event April 18
2021-04-02
GALECA, The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics Association, along with Karel Media, will present the 2021 Dorian Film Awards on Sunday, April 18, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on digital cable TV network Revry. The ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'The Sound of Identity,' about trans opera star, out June 1
2021-04-02
Winner of the 2020 Outshine Film Festival's prestigious Programmers Award of Excellence, The Sound of Identity is a feature documentary that Shout! Studios will present on digital and on demand June 1. Profiling international opera star ...


Gay News

Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility
2021-03-31
The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Mommie Dearest' to come out on Blu-ray on June 1
2021-03-30
The cult-classic drama Mommie Dearest celebrates its 40th anniversary with a brand-new Blu-ray in the Paramount Presents line, debuting June 1, from Paramount Home Entertainment. Based on Christina Crawford's controversial ...


Gay News

Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars party to be virtual on April 25
2021-03-22
The 29th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Academy Awards Pre-Party will be hosted by Emmy- and Tony-winning actor and New York Times best-selling author Neil Patrick Harris alongside Sir Elton John and David Furnish, with ...


Gay News

Billy Masters
2021-03-22
"I always knew Frank would end up in bed with a boy."—Ava Gardner, when told Frank Sinatra had married Mia Farrow. Is this a rerun? A headline this week: "Grammy Ratings Hit All-Time Lows in Viewership ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tamron Hall, 'Killing Eve,' speedskater, DJ dies, 'Pariah'
2021-03-21
On the March 16 episode of Tamron Hall, Hall highlighted groundbreaking transgender trailblazers in Hollywood, a press release noted. Pose/American Horror Story actress and tech CEO Angelica Ross opened up about her difficult coming-out experience in ...


Gay News

National Museum of Mexican Art to show unity-themed short
2021-03-19
The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) is inviting the public to a virtual screening of the unity-themed, award-winning animated short "Color of Tomorrow" as part of its Storytellers 4 Unity Film Forum. The virtual screening ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Museum of Science & Industry offers 'Marvel,' 'Zephyr,' 'Michael Jordan'
2021-03-18
The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., recently reopened to the public—and has some impressive exhibits to offer. They include: —Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes: Kids of all ages (and those ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.