Romantic-comedies rarely deviate from the stereotypical pattern these days and that rings true for What’s Your Number?. But it did have some kick to it. Or at least a decent fondle here-n-there.
Anna Faris will always go down as the cute spoof-queen, and she brings some of that flare into her role as Ally. She plays a single girl scraping by in Boston who gets freaked out after reading an article that the average woman sleeps with about eleven guys in their lifetime (and yes this story takes place in modern times – and I don‘t buy it). After doing some quick math and asking her soon-to-be married younger sister (Ari Graynor) – along with her bridal party – how many guys they’ve slept with; she realizes that her legs have been spread way more than the norm.
In the efforts to get a grip (no pun) on the guy situation, she decides that she will track down all the past sexual encounters and see if she can make one work. Ally does want her number increasing at all and asks her casual musician neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans), to assist her, for he keeps tabs on all the tenants in the building; when he’s not plowing through a steady stream of hot girls that leave his apartment. Colin agrees and ends up monitoring Ally’s stroll down sexual lane.
If by some chance one has no clue where this fundamental tale is headed, then this may catch your attention the entire way through. For the rest of us: if you can deal with the poor and lifeless set-up along with the clichéd ending, you may find yourself laughing more often than not during the strong middle portion. Credit this response to Chris Evans’ character that brings in a persona which elevates the intended comedic moments. Half the lines will not be met with roaring approval from the audience but there’s enough “HA’s” to keep one involved. And when the meat of the story goes on display there is an intrigue to see if something different could occur in this script.
A decent comparison to this piece would be The Proposal, starring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock. The filmmaking and mechanics were better in the 2009 comedy but the same themes and skits can be found in What’s Your Number?. In fact, though not as executed as well, the comedy that Faris and the script injects gives this more of a feel that was found in Bridesmaids. The big difference is that this flick doesn’t showcase a stellar supporting cast as seen in this past summer’s sharp blockbuster. However, the female crowd that ate up Bridesmaids will undoubtedly find the most pleasure with this quasi-raunchy chick-oriented sitcom.
What really can drag this down are a choppy delivery and a lack of innovative substance. Films in the genre such as Just Friends found the correct balance of comedy and fairytale scripting. Other ones like Happythankyoumoreplease had tons of laughs while keeping their respective story in a realistic state. What’s Your Number? tries a little of both when it would have been better served to choose a side and roll with it. The performers were serviceable but the filmmakers just didn’t know how to smooth out the edges.
Overall, What’s Your Number? is an average rom-com that really wants to focus on the laughs. Much like the lead character, it seemed as if the script was compromised using two different ideologies within the genre and it could never fully come together (pun intended). All that said, there’s enough edgy generational comedy in the middle to get a twenty-thirty-something audience up for this. Or in keeping with one of the themes: you’ll want to hook-up for the night, but probably wouldn’t want to sleepover.
What’s Your Number? is rated R and opens in the Tampa Bay market on Friday.