WHAT”S YOUR NUMBER?
By Gary Murray
Starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor and Blythe Danner
Written by Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden
Based on the book 20 Times a Lady by Karyn Bosnak
Directed by Mark Mylod
Running time 106 min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating Cable
Anna Faris is a rarity in Hollywood—a beautiful comic performer. With her long blonde hair and cute, girl next door mannerisms, she has been building a strong following by giving the audience what they want. Some of her films are The House Bunny, My Super Ex-Girlfriend and The Scary Movie franchise. Her latest is What’s Your Number?
Our little play opens with Ally (Anna Faris) who wakes from another one night stand. This guy is the latest in a long, long string of “Mr. Wrong” men—guys who are not the one true love. At work, she is fired by her finger sniffing boss. On the way home, she reads a magazine article that says any woman who has over 20 different lovers will never find true love. Soon, she realizes that she is on the cusp of that dreaded number.
Ally’s life is wrapped up in planning her little sister’s (Ari Graynor) wedding. Added to this family mix is the girl’s mom (Blythe Danner) who only wants the best for her daughters, as long as ‘the best’ is a successful rich man.
At a wild night, Ally makes a drunken vow that she will not sleep with another man until she finds the perfect man. That soon backfires and she takes on another plan. Ally will go back through all of her lovers and find out if one of her rejects is ‘the one’. Recruiting her next-door neighbor/musician Colin (Chris Evans), the two use all that is the internet to find these old loves. Colin has a knack for police work and a raging libido. He uses Ally’s apartment to hide out from his one-night stands.
The story is of Ally and Colin finding that they are similar in style and thoughts. As Colin finds Ally’s beaus, he finds himself charmed by her. As Ally re-meets all of these old lovers, she finds how much she has changed. She grows closer to Colin as she looks everywhere for a true love. Anyone who has seen a romantic comedy knows where all of this is headed.
The biggest problem with What’s Your Number? is with the script. The jokes just are not there. Time after time the one liners just flop off the screen, hitting the floor before getting to the first row of seats. Writers Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden have the characters, just not the comic situations. The film could have used a serious re-write.
As weak as What’s Your Number? was with the words, Anna Faris somehow rises above the material. She just charms every frame she is on screen. This is a wonderful performer in what may be her weakest film.
The only reason for Chris Evans to be in What’s Your Number? is to be naked. He has a certain roguish charm but there is nothing special in the performance. That is the other flaw with the movie. It seems to be an excuse to get everyone (almost) totally naked. At times What’s Your Number? just comes across as creepy with the two leads in their underwear in scene after scene. It is like watching a porno with your parents, something that just feels wrong.
The secondary cast is spotted with so many NBC comic actors that it almost seems like “Must See Thursday”. These performers should all break out and become major stars in the next few years.
Bridesmaids proved that women can dish out gross-out humor. What’s Your Number? disproves the theory. In the final analysis, it is the worst sin of comedy—it is lazy. What’s Your Number? is a hybrid of different comedy forms. It is part romantic comedy and part sexual farce and doesn’t work in any fashion. What's Your Number? For Anna Faris it is definitely a 10 but for her movie, a much lower score.