I didn’t have high hopes for this one, as it seems to be the rule nowadays that romantic comedies are just plain awful. I’m sad to say What’s Your Number? was no exception, although it did have a fewwwww bright spots. Also, I’d say spoilers abound here, but can you really spoil a rom-com? Please.
Anna Faris stars as Ally, a mildly adorable, mildly annoying 20/30ish-something freaking out because she read an article in a crappy Cosmo-type mag that women who’ve had more than 20 sexual partners basically can’t get married. Because apparently, becoming a wifey is really all that’s important to women, as per romantic comedy rule #6. Ally’s had exactly 20 sexual partners, and she’s convinced she won’t be able to get married, so she hopes maybe one of those previous 20 has turned into husband material since the break-up. It’s smug for her to assume that each and every one of these guys would want her back, and it’s refreshing that some of them didn’t, but the premise is a little thin, to be sure.
Meanwhile, she befriends her hunk neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans, bringing the sexy), who has also been around the proverbial block, and they set up a symbiosis where he’s allowed to hide in her apartment from all the skanks he is banging on an almost nightly basis, and he’ll help her hunt down those exes, because for some reason she just can’t use the internet. Cue one of my least favorite scenes, her making a lame, drunk attempt to use Google to find these failed flames, which doesn’t work, because the writers couldn’t come up with a name more bland than Mike Miller. When that yields too many hits, she narrows the search by adding “Mike Miller from New Jersey with a tiny penis.” Yep, most grown adults who are even moderately computer-savvy would have more brains than that. It wasn’t funny, and made me cringe.
The supporting cast are not terrible, they’re just under-utilized. I completely adored Ari Graynor in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – she was a sparkly scene stealer who I wanted to party with, and here she just fades into the background as the annoying sister/bridezilla-lite, although this is the script’s fault, not hers. But it makes me sad that an effervescent actress doesn’t really get a chance to shine. Poor Blythe Danner is the nagging, heinous mother who makes every single thing about her – it’s a wonder the girls turned out any good at all. Celeb cameos abound – Martin Freeman (You’re Bilbo! Why you slummin’?!), Thomas Lennon, Aziz Ansari, Andy Samberg, Chris Pratt (Faris’s real-life hubby who I was so pumped to see interact with her on-screen but it just brought the zzz’s) – and sadly, they’re mostly worthless.
This film was written by two women (which I find infinitely depressing) who have penned episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Scrubs – all things that make me laugh, and have many nuggets of truth nestled inside their hilarity. Somehow, they couldn’t nail this combination here. The script was just kind of terrible. The movie paints females as only wanting to get married, and being crazy, or being sluts, blah blah what’s fucking new. They wanted Ally to have a weird talent that she needed emotional support for, and I appreciate trying to give her a bizarre hobby that you could make into a career, but said “talent” was sculpting these creepy dolls into little dioramas. I never really got the impression that she was this big artist because she is seen sculpting ONCE. PLUS, the dioramas were creepy and ugly and I can’t fathom any person wanting them. Further maddening sidenote: Anna Faris is so fucking taut and firm, that even while playing ‘strip basketball’ (that’s right), and running down the court, nothing moves, not even her tatas. This is tiresome. I just want to look at a real human on the screen once in a while, for the love of Christ.
Something not terrible was the fun, playful chemistry that Faris and Evans have. It seemed to naturally progress from a jovial, almost brother-sister dynamic, into a freaking steamy scene where I was thinking, “zomg you guys –DO IT!!!! :)” The’re both kind of slutty, and goofy, and creative, so I understood why they fell for each other, which is more than I can say for a lot of movies. When they finally get together in the end, I did experience a brief surge of joy.
Obviously this’ll get compared to Bridesmaids, ’cause it came out a few months later, is a raunchy female-centric comedy, and OH YEAH – IT STARTS OUT THE EXACT SAME WAY: Woman wakes up next to hot man after night of hanky-panky and runs into the bathroom while he’s still asleep so she can primp and allow him to think that all women wake up with flowing lashes and glossy lips. It was so charming when Kristen Wiig did it, here it felt cheap and used. I’d say What’s Your Number? is more like the poor man’s Bridesmaids, or more accurately, the homeless, destitute, drifter’s Bridesmaids.
This movie was not as abysmal as say, Something Borrowed, which made me want to crawl into a sewer and wait for the end of days, but in that movie, every single character sucked majorly, and here, the leads are kinda cute. Take that for what you will, but unless you need an Evans or Faris fix, there’s really no point to ever watch this.