What’s Your Number is another rom-com that doesn’t exactly break the mold for the genre. You get the old boy meets girl routine and some convoluted and even inane plot points but help me, I did manage to laugh a few times thanks mainly to Anna Faris. Make no mistake, it’s not a good movie and I’d that it might only be worth to Netflix if anything.
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance
Fox | R/Unrated – 106/116 min. – $39.99 | January 10, 2012
Directed by: Mark Mylod
Writer(s): Karyn Bosnak (book); Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden (screenplay)
Cast: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner
Theatrical Release Date: September 30, 2011
Features: Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 37.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Romantic comedies rarely go off the reservation in terms of storytelling and thus rely on the cast for its success. I won’t say the latest, What’s Your Number?, changes or breaks the mold by any stretch, but I still found it to be an enjoyable film thanks in large part to its star.
Ally Darling (ANNA FARIS) is a 30-something year old who can’t seem to keep a nice boyfriend. She’s recently been fired by her jackass boss (JOEL MCHALE) and watches as her younger sister, Daisy (ARI GRAYNOR), planning for her own wedding. Ally reads in a magazine that if a woman has slept with 20 or more men, it’s in all likelihood that a woman will never settle down; problem is, Ally had just broken up with man #19 (cameo by Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto). During her sister’s bachelorette party, she and the others play a game where each writes down the number of men they’ve been with, place in a glass and try to guess who the number belongs to. Much to her shock, she has the largest number by far.
Ally vows to make sure the next guy she sleeps with will be the man that is “right” for her. Unfortunately that proclamation only lasts the night after getting wasted and, after running into her ex-boss, wakes up the next morning to find him in her bed. That’s man #20 and he’s hardly somebody she could fall in love with.
Meanwhile, Ally has a neighbor across the hall named Colin (CHRIS EVANS) who seems to have a new lady in his bed every night. The two formally meet when Colin, having trouble getting rid of the woman the next morning, hides out at her place. When she discovers he has some detective skills, thanks to his dad being a former cop, Ally enlists him to track down her exes because in her mind, since she’s already slept with them, perhaps she can rekindle the love and get married without going over the 20-man mark. In exchange for his investigative skills, she allows him to continue to hide out and avoid his morning after guests. Yeah, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…
Colin’s investigation leads him to several men, some of whom are still the same losers they were when Ally last saw them while others are successful. She goes to great lengths to find them going out of New York to Miami to get an examination by her ex who is an OB-GYN. All this despite having lost her job and probably burning through what money she had left (got to think rent in NYC isn’t cheap).
During all of this, Ally and Colin grow closer, sharing romantic-comedy scenes like breaking into Madison Square Garden and playing a round of strip horse so that each end up in their undies, thus satisfying both men and women. I can’t imagine this happens in real life with two people who are friends… who are NOT drunk. But it’s a sweet scene and admittedly as forced as it was, I thought it worked well enough.
There was one man who continued to evade Ally, however: her first love, Jake Adams (DAVE ANNABLE from “Brothers and Sisters”), whose father is a wealthy investor. He eventually resurfaces and he’s all that she’s ever dreamed of. He’s handsome, well to do but apparently not a snob, wanting to do charity work around the world. Of course, it might not be what she envisioned and perhaps the man for her lives across the hall. Eh, that couldn’t be it…
Alright, I admit up front that the entire storyline is, to say the least, contrived. The characters, other than the main, are fairly cookie-cutter and the plot is, obviously, predictable being able to see the end game within the first 5-minutes as most template romantic comedies do. All that said, and in reality I should hate the movie and lambast it to hell and back, there’s just something about Anna Faris that made it more than tolerable and to a certain extent, charming. And for his part, Chris Evans, in the thankless role as the male love interest, gives a good performance that shows his skills as a ladies’ man, a role he’s played numerous times across genres.
As for the film’s co-stars, we at least are not tortured to see the weird sidekicks that often prevail in romantic comedies. For one, Chris Evans’ character doesn’t have that wacky best friend who gives him sage (i.e. nonsensical) advice, showing up every 15-minutes before becoming entirely absent in the third act. Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) plays the primary female support and she does well enough with a limited role as does Blythe Danner in the thankless role as the slightly snobbish mother. Oh, and Ed Begley Jr. manages to show up for 5-minutes as the father. A small side story develops as mamma will not attend the wedding if he’s there, so the girls try to work that out.
What’s Your Number was directed by Mark Mylod whose career has consisted of primarily helming a variety of television shows like “Shameless” and “Entourage”. The film is based upon a novel called “20 Times a Lady” and adapted by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden (two writers on “Scrubs”). I have to give all three of them credit because they took what’s basically a generic romantic comedy – topped off with contrivances and the third act argument – and managed to make it funny, mostly playing to Anna Faris’ strengths rather than shoehorning her character into somebody she’s not (i.e. the role wouldn’t have worked with a Natalie Portman).
Basically, I can’t say What’s Your Number is a great movie nor is it really a good one either, but I admire most of it because of Faris and, albeit more limited, Chris Evans. The plot is utter nonsense but at the same time I did manage to laugh at a few jokes and found the movie to be at least passable entertainment.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
This release includes a glossy slip cover. Included are the theatrical version and an extended version which runs about 10-minutes longer and basically includes more dirty jokes. I’d stick with the theatrical version, however.
Not a whole lot going on features-wise. We get some Deleted Scenes (17:05; HD), a lengthy Gag Reel (7:15; HD) and a DVD/Digital Copy combo disc. Note that the DVD only contains the theatrical version.
Previews – The Big Year, The Sitter, In Time
VIDEO – 4.75/5
What’s Your Number may merely be a standard romantic-comedy but it looks absolutely stunning with the 1080p high-def transfer. The movie contains a fine amount of natural film grain and noise that gives it clarity. It’s well detailed showing off every nuance in the shot and the colors are nicely balanced. Simply put, this is an impressive transfer so fans of the movie will be more than satisfied.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The disc comes with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which is good, though not great. The dialogue level is very good and generally came out of the center channel while ambient noises, as well as Aaron Zigman’s standard score, make use of the rear speakers. The audio doesn’t have a whole lot of depth save for the basketball court scene which gives the track a bit of a thump while playing Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow” song.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, What’s Your Number is another rom-com that doesn’t exactly break the mold for the genre. You get the old boy meets girl routine and some convoluted and even inane plot points but help me, I did manage to laugh a few times thanks mainly to Anna Faris. Make no mistake, it’s not a good movie and I’d that it might only be worth to Netflix if anything.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.