Ally Darling (Anna Faris) read an article in a woman’s magazine saying that women who have had 20 or more lovers are simply never going to get married, ever! So Ally, already at number 19, swears she will only have sex with the man she is going to marry. Barring that, she can look up the first 19 and see if she can marry any of them. What?! This is so wrong on so many levels I must speak out to make women aware that the insidious power of Hollywood filmmaking, like women’s magazines, can cause terrible repercussions: believing it’s true and feeling guilt because they’ve gone over that number or keeping themselves pristine at a low number so they can be worthy of marrying. Twenty! How dare female novelist Karyn Bosnak and screenwriters Gabrielle Allen and Jennifer Crittenden stifle women’s sexuality, put a limit on sexual experience and encourage desperation to marry! Are they under 20 and married? Twenty, indeed. That’s just warming up. Movies have taken it upon itself since the silents to keep women in check, extolling virtue and punishing trespasses. Bad girls got raped and murdered, good girls got married. Even ‘Thelma and Louise’ paid the ultimate price for taking a vacation without their husbands’ permission.
Drinking seems to be a growing problem for women in Hollywood movies as well. Ally is almost never without a glass in her hand. And this girl doesn’t sip. She’s a guzzler. She deals with all her emotions by drinking: happy celebrations, nervousness, anger, confusion, depression. Name the emotion, Ally is lining up shooters to deal with it. I guess now that Hollywood had to stop putting cigarettes into the hands and mouths of its leading ladies (i.e., Julia Roberts in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’) for her to easily show stress, she’s got a drink.
As for the humor, there were a few really cute jokes. I guess hoping for another ‘Bridesmaids’ is asking too much. Here there is little comedy in ‘What’s Your Number’ based on real women’s situations which reveal ironic truths or the base, raunchy, but honest things we have to deal with and which struck chords with the audience in ‘Bridesmaids.’ This is just a sweet, little romantic comedy with negative subliminal messages in which the guy (Chris Evans) you would never consider as husband material, the guy right in front of you (in this case, in all his magnificent glory), is THE GUY.
What’s Your Number?
Director: Mark Mylod
Writers: Gabrielle Allen and Jennifer Crittenden from the novel ’20 Times A Lady’ by Karyn Bosnak
Cast: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley, Jr., Joel McHale
Time: 106 min.
Opening September 30 at the AMC Metreon, AMC Van Ness, and Presidio Theatre in San Francisco