In a time when chick flicks tend to excel by going against the grain, “What’s Your Number?” simply does not.
Well, at first it appears to – using unconventional comedy to comment on real relationship experiences – but it makes a 180-degree turn around the midway point and retraces its steps as well as just about every romantic comedy that came before it. In other words, “What’s Your Number?” shows potential but lets cold feet scare it right back into the same old genre formula.
Based on Karyn Bosnak’s book “20 Times a Lady,” “What’s Your Number” stars Anna Faris as a Bostonian named Ally Darling whose recent breakup encourages her to look back on her past relationships – or at least the past men with whom she has had sex. Ally panics upon learning that the average woman has slept with 10.5 men.
See, Ally has shared her bed with no fewer than 20 different men. Believing that this limits her chances of ever finding a husband, Ally enlists her promiscuous neighbor Colin Shea (Chris Evans) to help her track down several of her exes in an effort to see if any of them were in fact her soul mate and therefore worth a second look.
The flashback scenes during which Ally reminisces about said exes and the modern-day developments that result are genuinely hysterical. Actors whose quirky cameos as Ally’s exes make watching “What’s Your Number?” worthwhile include Chris Pratt, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon and Martin Freeman.
Unfortunately, it is all downhill from there as writers Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden’s screenplay adapts to its genre surroundings. In other words, “What’s Your Number’s” once uncouth sense of humor is replaced by the trappings of your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. At that point everything feels all too familiar.
Not that a better screenplay would have helped. As entertaining as Faris is in genre satires such as “Scary Movie” and character comedies like “The House Bunny,” she is just not that likable much less charismatic. Had the uber-talented Ari Graynor, who plays Ally’s sister Daisy, headlined “What’s Your Number?,” director Mark Mylod may have been able to salvage the project.
However, as is, there are just too many things that are not in the film’s favor. Far too many to count, in fact. But it is safe to assume that said number falls above the average of most romantic comedies, which all but diminishes its chances of finding an audience – at least one that has not fallen victim to all if its tricks of the trade before.
“What’s Your Number?” (R – 106 minutes) is now playing at movie theaters throughout the Valley. Visit FirstLook.com for specific showtimes.
Listen to Joseph J. Airdo’s “Movie Maverick” radio segment, every Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. during “The Daily Blender with Jeffry O’Brien” on KBSZ – NBC 1260 AM and 96.1 FM.