What’s Your Number?

28 Oct

Title: What’s Your Number?
Mark Mylod
Writers: Gabrielle Allen and Jennifer Crittenden, based on the novel by Karyn Bosnak
Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Joel McHale, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley Jr., Andy Samberg, Zachary Quinto, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Thomas Lennon, Mike Vogel, Chris Pratt, Dave Annable, Martin Freeman, Anthony Mackie, Ari Graynor, Eliza Coupe
MPAA Rating: 
R, sexual content and language
106 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
Rotten Tomatoes: 


Every time I walk into a movie with Anna Faris in a leading role I go into it with the exact same feeling, and every time I walk out of an Anna Faris movie I walk out with the exact same feeling. The initial feeling is excitement, the latter one is disappointment. And What’s Your Number? Ms. Faris’ latest attempt at leading a great solid movie that could maybe launch her into the super stardom she so deserves is yet another one of those. And it’s really frustrating for an amateur critic like me, or just as a general audience member, to see this, because Anna Faris, for my money, is one of the funniest actresses working today, and yet she’s never really gotten her big break and all the films she chooses to be the lead in turn out to be really either quite crappy or just okay at most, even if she’s her regular awesome self in them. And it suck to see it happen again here, a film in which she’s great as she always is, and has her impeccable comic timing in, but a film that just wastes her talents and becomes this predictable rom-com that just happens to have a tremendously underrated and great comic actress in the leading role.

And I know that Ms. Faris’ detractors will say that she probably isn’t that great a comedic actress if she hasn’t done a single great film in which she’s been the lead, which is a fair point I guess, but people, trust me when I say she is. And if you don’t want to trust me, then trust the vast majority of far smarter people than me, actual movie critics, that say she is, or just go ahead and see her movies for yourself and you’ll realize that’s just a really really intelligent kind of comedic performer, it’s just that she’s had spectacularly crappy luck as far as choosing projects go. But even when those films tank like some of them have, she always escapes them absolutely unharmed, people will always give her another chance and another one after that, because they know deep down inside that her brand of charm is really unique and she’s just a really great actress waiting for the right role to really breakout. Because, make no mistake, audiences really like her, she’s a gutsy performer that seems just super humble, and has this ditzy sort of personna built to her while at the same time seeming super smart, and she knows how to play that to great laughs.

But anyways, enough about me and my lovefest for Anna Faris, it’s just that I wanted to make it clear that any sort of success What’s Your Number? falls short from achieving is not because of her, this is just another case of her rocking the hell out of a role in a movie that’s otherwise quite bad. The title is a reference to a study in a women’s magazine that says that a woman who has had more than twenty sexual partners has about a four percent chance of ever getting married, and Ms. Faris’ character, Ally, reads it and, since she’s had nineteen, proceeds to track down all of her exes in order to see if maybe her husband-to-be is in there somewhere and they just overlooked that potential at the time and she doesn’t have to go for number twenty since that would basically make her unmarriable

So we see Ms. Faris being very good as Ally, who goes to her younger sister, played by Ari Graynor, whom she envies quite a bit, for relationship advice, and then we see her enlisting the help of Colin, the character played by Chris Evans who basically spends the movie shirtless here, and who’s Ally’s neighbor who has a lot of one-night stands and will help her track down her exes. And look, there’s something there in that premise and in the character of Ally, but the movie is so dumb as to how it plays with its subject matter that it never amounts to anything, and the approach to it even changes as the movie goes along, in one scene you get a lot coarse sex talk and in another scene it seems as though it’s an outrage that a woman has had sexual partners in the double digits, it just never really finds its footing. And it sucks because if you have an actress as witty and capable as Ms. Faris this could have potentially been a smart and sharply-observed comedy with a tinge of dramatic elements had it been done right, but instead the director and writers are more worried about it being about Ally’s encounters with all of her exes which will of course lend themselves to one recurrent joke with each guy and give the movie a chance to get a slew of cameos from some actors (which include the awesome Chris Pratt, Ms. Faris’ real-life husband).

What’s Your Number? is a film that in the end squanders any potential that could have found in the premise and in its awesome leading lady. Because, when it’s all said and done, who cares about how many people someone has slept with, and what’s worse is that by the end the film itself acknowledges this notion as stupid and not worth talking about for nearly two hours, but by then it’s obviously too late, and all you have left are a series of dumb scenes that waste the considerable talents of Anna Faris. So I guess the only thing to take out of this film is the fact that, once again, Ms. Faris survives an otherwise crappy film, elevates it to the highest heights it could have ever reached with her magnetic charm alone and moves away from it, unscathed, to keeping trying to find the project that will finally catapult her to the A-list, where she deserves to be, and which will hopefully be the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie that she’ll star in. But, until then, I’ll keep seeing her try and find it, because she’s just too damn adorable not to.

Grade: C+


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