Review: What's Your Number?
PLOT: Ally Darling is looking for love. However, after twenty guys she seems to be running out of options. After reading one of those love advice columns in Marie Claire magazine, she finds that the chances of meeting “the one” are near impossible once you hit that particular number of lovers. So with the help of her hunky neighbor - he has the skill of locating missing persons thanks to his police officer father - she begins hunting down her ex-boyfriends, hoping to rekindle a long lost fire. All the while, the man of her dreams may be living right next door.
REVIEW: It is oftentimes painful to sit through a bad romantic comedy that has promise. It is especially agonizing when you feel like you’ve seen the exact same moment done before, only better. This is especially true at the beginning of WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? and what is nearly the exact same scene appearing in this year’s hit BRIDESMAIDS. In both films, a woman wakes before her lover. She sneaks into the bathroom and fixes herself up with hair and make-up. She then returns to bed and feigns sleep while her partner wakes. He looks at her and tells her how great she looks. She then pretends to be near embarrassed by such flattery because she couldn’t possibly look that good this early.
While that is one of the few similarities to BRIDESMAIDS that NUMBER has to offer, you have to wonder if that is something women regularly do or do they simply joke about it? Either way, this worked well the first time out, not so much for round two.
WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? is the story of a young woman named Ally Darling (Anna Faris) who reads in a magazine that if you don’t find your true love after being with twenty guys, you never will. At the time she reads the article, she is on nineteen. Desperately she turns to her hunky neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) for help. His father was a police officer who taught the now musician how to search for missing persons. She convinces him that she must locate her past loves and make sure she didn’t miss out. So what if she did? Well, she could always try and rekindle the fire with a willing ex. So off she goes on a series of wacky adventures, you know, the kind that only Anna Faris could do. Sadly, before she even begs Colin for help, she makes her ex-boss number twenty. The girl is desperate.
Let’s start off with a little praise for this romantic comedy… and that praise is for Anna Faris and Chris Evans! The two actually work and have some terrific chemistry together. The couple is wonderfully likable, and the audience knows they should be together, it is just a question of whether she realizes it or not. Most of their scenes feel honest, entertaining and fun, even the clichéd romcom ones. Whether they are fighting about who is running away from their problems, or just sharing a joke amongst friends, it is beyond obvious they should be together. In fact, if this story had focused on these two misguided souls, it may have been one hell of a charming movie.
Albeit there is humor to be found here, even in the search for Ally’s true love. In a series of dating nightmares, Ally finds there is a reason the past flames just didn’t ignite. Whether it is her boss who recently fired her (Joel McHale) or the one time “Disgusting Donald” (Chris Pratt) who is not so disgusting anymore, some of her trials and tribulations with exes offered a few laugh out loud moments. Faris does her absolute best with virtuoso comedic timing (if only she could use it in better projects), yet there is only so much you can do when most of the situations are predictable and flat. Not terribly shocking, but if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve already witnessed some of the funniest moments in the film.
I wanted to enjoy this romantic tale more, I really did. Truth be told, for fans of Faris and Evans, it wouldn’t hurt to check this feature out on DVD or Blu-ray. However, it may not warrant a trip to the theatres. Director Mark Mylod plays around with the look of the picture, yet it is slightly more distracting than inventive, and there is nothing really fresh and original in the script. In fact, it takes half the film to really get to the characters that actually matter. Aside from a great leading couple often in a state of undress, there is never any real drama or tension with only sporadic laughs throughout. You know just what is going to happen much too early, thus you are left with very few surprises. Thankfully, the film offers a terrific supporting cast including Blythe Danner and Ed Begley Jr. as Darling’s parents, and the lovely Ari Graynor as Ally’s sister.