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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > What's Your Number?

MOVIE REVIEWS

WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? (2011)

Starring  Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley Jr., Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Heather Burns, Eliza Coupe, Kate Simses, Tika Sumpter, Joel McHale, Anthony Mackie, Mike Vogel, Zachary Quinto, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Ivana Milicevic and the voice of Aziz Ansari.

Screenplay by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden.

Directed by Mark Mylod.

Distributed by 20th Century Fox.  103 minutes.  Rated R.

 

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What's Your Number?

The sorry state of the modern romantic comedy has put me into a quandary.  What’s Your Number? looked like it would be pretty awful and as a critic I know that it really is a pretty bad movie.  Yet, I have to admit I didn’t hate it, in fact even as I was counting all the ridiculous plot machinations and silly set pieces I had to admit to myself that I was enjoying it a little. 

In the weakened field where most rom-coms are like torture, does the fact that this film is not awful – it’s just rather bad – make it worthy of a slight recommendation?  Is it enough to acknowledge that What’s Your Number? almost works in a turn your mind off kind of way, though if you actually sit down and think about what you are seeing it will all fall apart?  Does sheer puppy dog likability count for anything?

You know what?  Maybe I’m becoming an old softie, but perhaps it does.  If you know what you are getting into and don’t expect too much from What’s Your Number?, you may be pleasantly surprised like I was. 

I know that is a very back-handed compliment, but it’s the best I can do here. 

The basic storyline is pretty ridiculous, granted.  Ally Darling (Anna Faris) reads a story in a women’s magazine saying that if a woman has slept with more than 20 men, she is unlikely to ever find true love and marriage.  She is at 20, therefore she determines she can not have sex with a new guy again until she is absolutely sure he is her soul mate.  So she comes up with a loophole – going back over her former lovers to see if maybe she missed a diamond in the rough the first time around.

I’m honestly kind of curious as to how the writers came up with that number of twenty lovers as the slut mark.  That honestly seems a little low for a cut-off point in the modern world.  Hell, nearly 20 years ago Andie McDowell’s character was over double that amount in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and she hardly seemed like a slut.  And she got married and found true love!  (Though not with the same person...)

Then again, I suppose anyone who lives their life around a made-up scale they read about in a women’s magazine deserves what they get.

But still, we kinda like and care for Ally, and this is 100% due to the actress who is playing her.  Anna Faris is a fearless comedienne, able to merge sexiness with cuteness and sheer goofiness.  She has a game, go-for-broke comic style that makes her performance better than the character she is playing.  (In fact, better than most characters that she has played in her career.) 

More than anyone this side of Kristen Wiig, (who has in general gotten better role choices, one of them she even wrote) Faris is willing to look completely ridiculous.  Yet, even though her characters tend to be cartoonish, Faris sells them with such good faith that you can’t help but be mesmerized by her. 

Her co-stars in general aren’t quite up to this kind of heavy lifting.  Chris Evans is buff enough, but doesn’t quite sell his role as her love-’em-and-leave-‘em next-door neighbor. 

The exes, played by a rogues gallery of funny actors including Andy Semberg (Saturday Night Live), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) and Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) are all obvious, stupid stereotypes. 

And Ally’s relationships with her estranged parents (Blythe Danner and Ed Begley, Jr.) and her marrying younger sister (Ari Graynor) are pretty clichéd stuff too. 

Still, Faris, through sheer force of personality, makes this film… well, if not good at least rather enjoyable.  For her alone, What’s Your Number? is worth a viewing.

Alex Diamond

Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 14, 2012.

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Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 14, 2012.