Directed by Jamie Travis, this sweet, funny comedy helps put to bed the latest dumbass manifestations of the Christopher Hitchens/Adam Carolla argument regarding women's inferior capacity for hilarity—and then douses the bed in gasoline and sets it on fire. Here's a platonic comedy draped over the armature of a romantic comedy, a funny dude-bro movie in which the funny dude-bros are women. You do have to get past the high-concept premise: Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor), two young New York women with a longstanding mutual loathing, are forced to share an apartment, but form a tight friendship after starting their own phone-sex service. C'mon, it isn't any unlikelier than the plot of The Hangover, and the script, by Miller and co-writer Katie Anne Naylon, is, like, 10 times smarter, funnier, and way less woman-hatey. Sure, there's a proliferation of dildos, splooge jokes, and simulated orgasms, but this actually is a vehicle for genuine sweetness and depth of character, and the film's beats are deliberately matched with those of standard boy-meets-girl stories. But instead of romantic love, the whole metaphor-for-human-actualization thing is discovering your best bud. It would have been easy to present the male phone-sex clients as awkward, asocial creeps, but Travis and the writers make these masturbating dudes into funny, self-possessed comic foils for Miller and Graynor. Better still, Lauren and Katie aren't defined by their attitudes toward men; they're defined by being fucking funny and awesome.
Graynor makes a connection.
Opens at Pacific Place and Lincoln Square, Fri., Aug. 31. Rated R. 85 minutes.