When you think of Boston movies you usually think of a drama with crime or mobsters. Something like The Town, The Departed, Mystic River. One usually doesn’t think comedy (sorry Judd Apatow, but we usually don’t remember Celtic Pride). Well out this weekend is the first in a line of comedies coming out of Boston. Opening September 30th, What’s Your Number? stars Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Joel McHale, Zachary Quinto and a slew of other Hollywood types .
Faris plays Ally Darling who as the movie begins just broke up with Quinto. She gets laid off from her job and while on the MBTA (that’s the Boston train system for rest of you), reads a story that the average woman has around 10 sexual partners in her life. Her sister is getting married and while at a family gathering, Ally gives a drunken toast. At the bachelorette party she hears the other women’s numbers and decides she can’t sleep with anyone else until he’s the right guy. When she drunkenly goes home with number 20, she decides one of the first 19 must be the man of her dreams because there’s no way she’s gonna be with 21 men.
Enter Chris “Captain America” Evans. Chris plays Colin, Ally’s womanizing neighbor/struggling musician/man who can find out information on anyone. Colin agrees to help Ally find her exes if she helps him avoid the women who have stayed the night at his apartment. Of course the two start to dig each other and the will they/won’t they builds up as you try to figure out who Ally ends up with.
Now in all honesty I don’t know if I can really give an unbiased opinion of this movie because well I know a lot of people who worked on the film. The film was shot in Boston in the Summer of 2010 and although I wasn’t lucky enough to be picked for it, many people who I know personally and professionally were. So instead I’ll talk a little bit about the people who worked on the film and what it’s like working here in Boston.
In the party scene where Anna Faris gives her drunken toast, you see Peter McSwiggin who plays Uncle Charlie. If you are a local actor like myself, you know Peter and he is definitely your Facebook friend. Other Facebook friends you see in the film include Frankie Imbergamo, Susan Farese, and Elena Rozzi Pellegrino. Others that I know who worked the film include Chris Palermo, Laura Pizzuti-Gamache and Margot Muraszkiewicz. Plus other local actors include Frank Cacciola, Bill Conner, Hannah Yun, James Saya, Frank Cammarata, and Kevin Fennessy. Sure some of them have moved on to the California coast since filming, but there are still many more here willing to work. If you stayed through the credits you can see Matt Bouldry’s name up there who is the current casting director at C.P. Casting. And of course Chris Evans is a Baystater himself.
I remember them filming the movie last year with the Boston Globe and Boston Herald newspapers updating us with pictures of the latest sets and locations practically daily. The “nude” scene where Evans and Faris jump into the Harbor naked was a big hoopla because they had to close down the area to shoot both actors naked at night. I remember going to the open casting call dressed somewhat nicely because they wanted to see people wearing nice clothes because of all the wedding and party scenes in the film. Boston’s North End played its role like it does in any movie shot here as did the Institute of Contemporary Art. And of course Chris Pratt (who plays one of Ally’s exes) was photographed a lot around town because well he’s also Anna Faris’ husband in real life. Chris didn’t have much to do on set and you could see pictures of him around town while his wife worked.
What’s Your Number? is the first Boston comedy in a while, but not the last. Next summer you will see Kevin James’ Here Comes the Boom, Mark Wahlberg/Seth MacFarlane’s Ted and also Adam Sandler’s I Hate You Dad which is being renamed Donny’s Boy (and I actually worked all three of those films). So hopefully the Anna Faris/Chris Evans comedy will spark more interest to the state’s growing film industry. If anything, at least the film shows we don’t have to have bank robbers and mob bosses in every film. Sure those movies are our bread and butter, but this film should clearly show our city is capable of much more. We currently have the graphic novel adapted R.I.P.D filming so hopefully the Commonwealth will continue to grow its movie industry and put myself and many others to work.
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