Rating: 2 stars out of 5
If there’s one thing you’d discover after watching What’s Your Number?, it had to be learning that Anna Faris is one darn good comedienne.
With her kooky charm and spot-on comedic timing, she singlehandedly (with some help of course) bear the brunt of the dumb blonde jokes (though she tones down that routine a notch here) that you might want to dish out after watching the trailers, and drives this predictable romantic comedy through to the end.
So as the story goes, Ally Darling (Faris), a recently fired marketer, has slept with 19 men, though not simultaneously, and reads an article in Marie Claire that dooms any woman with 20 lovers or more to eternal damnation (ok, more like being single forever).
Like most people, Ally believes what’s written in the mag and panics, and then vows to avoid sleeping with another until she's sure he's Mr. Right. But after a night out with her pals, she got so wasted that she does the predictable--sleeping with her ex-boss: Man Number 20!
She then embarks on a voyage through her sexual history to discover whether her future might lie in her not-so-distant past, and enlists the help of her strapping and perpetually naked neighbour Colin (Chris Evans) who just happens to be good at locating people. Cue subplots of seen before gags via past paramour meet-ups.
Although we’ve seen a string of rom-coms this year--Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached, Crazy, Stupid, Love--What’s Your Number? is by far one of the funniest. What it manages to do is to pile on the com and hold on the rom just a tad bit.
It may look and feel like your average romantic comedy drama but once you add a quirky star at the helm and what you’ve got in your lap is comedy gold. We swear that we’ve laughed out loud no less than 15 times throughout and it’s just by watching Faris showing off her comedic chops such as watching her faux Brit accent go from Eliza Doolittle to Borat among other things. And one of the best gags in the film involves Faris, Andy Samberg and a puppet. Even then, the jokes feel far too brief to come anywhere close to saving this movie. And even the funniest of comedies cannot avert this film’s inane premise that’s just patronising to women.
Despite Faris’ efforts to lift the movie, fledgling filmmaker Mark Mylod (Entourage, United States of Tara) fails to engage the audience or make us care about the characters more. We all already know which dude Ally will end up with and it’s certainly not the one she’s pining for.
Evans and Faris certainly work well together, and their connection can be seen a mile away. But we’ve got the give the pair credit for traversing across the movie, slowing inching their potential romance together--even though we’ve seen it all before.
The script feels somewhat short and some scenes could be fleshed out to give this movie more meat—such as the flashbacks, using Ally’s talent for freaky sculptures as another narrative that’s worth exploring or even diverging a bit to delve into Colin’s womanizing ways.
As far as rom coms go, What’s Your Number? is tolerable at best. The movie doesn’t add anything new to an exhausted genre and can only be redeemed because of the two leads.