Monday, February 20, 2012

"What's Your Number?"

“What's Your Number” first looked to be a movie about how silly magazines like Cosmo craze typically well adjusted women into believing (or trying) ridiculous things in the name of romance and passion. The flip side of this is that these sorts of magazines can also make women believe they are weird, or fat, or slutty. It's the latter in “What's Your Number” a romantic comedy for I'm-not-sure who that manages to delight anyhow. 
Things pick up with Ally (Anna Faris) dumping her boyfriend, getting fired, dealing with her overbearing mother, and realizing she's had the most sexual partners (20) among her group of friends. This is a problem because Ally has read a study that claims that a woman who has had over 20 sexual partners is statistically far less likely to get married than those with less.
So, Ally has the great idea of tracking down all her ex-boyfriends, thinking that maybe she could re-connect with one of her exes, thus keeping her number under 20 and the goal of a happy marriage a bit more attainable.
Ally manages to track down these ex-boyfriends by way of her womanizing neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans), whose dad is a cop and has thus inherited a knack for searching people out. Colin is the kind of stud where every part of his body seems to be sprouting perfectly styled facial hair.
They grow together as Ally looks up the people from her past, and with each subsequent name off the list, Colin becomes more of a possibility, as he's there to support and care for her in her moments of weakness.The movie is made by their chemistry, and Evans is believable as the kind of guy who would openly discuss sleeping with Ally despite her insistence they would not, and Anna Faris comes across as the kind of goofy / sexy that would happily and proudly enjoy the naughty pleasures in life.
However, the movie is entirely unmotivated. Beyond the simple plot and message, any sort of directing, or stylisic choices are there simply as garnish. Ally is in marketing, but we don't know what she does or what she does for money once she's fired. This movie is set in Boston and no one has a Boston accent. This is a professionally made movie, and they couldn't get one guy to do a f*hkin' Bahstan accent? It's weird because the director ends the entire movie on a shot of the boston skyline. That's not to say it features bad performances or a lack of plot or good writing, it's just everything seems a bit off.
I can't fathom how this movie came together or who it is for. It features a gratuitous amount of implied nudity from both Anna Faris and Chris Evans, and I have visions of Anna Farris's agent reading the script and rolling his or her eyes every time Anna was featured in some sort of frilly underwear. I don't know if it's a problem or not when I found myself wanting to yell at the screen “Put some pants on that girl!” toward the middle of the film. But I imagine since the majority of movie goers will be couples, the collective body image of the theater will likely fall about 17 points after an hour and a half of Chris Evan's happy trail.
The movie isn't bad, it's actually very funny and sweet and hits all the notes and emotions you'd except from a typical romantic comedy, but with a non-traditional premise and non-traditional message, it's almost heart breaking to see the typical hollywood tropes arrive to gunk up what could have been much much more. 
But I guess this is one of those “sexy” movies. it's raunchy in a verbal way, and everyone just seems to be in love with the word that I used to think was Virginia until 5th grade. Really. This happened in “Horrible Bosses”, too. Where, in order to give the boring talking scenes some spice in the beginning of the movie, characters will toss around just really vulgar language for no particular reason. If counting, I ran out of fingers and toes before I ran out of Virginias. And don't even get me started on Pensacolas.
“What's Your Number” is friendly and warm and uplifting and a rally call for those of us with larger than life libedos. The people we've been with and the people we will be, and the fact remains it matters and always will because the eyes of judgement almost always fall to the waist line and the always dangerous territory of romantic history. Is 19 a high number? I guess. Is 12.50 too much to pay for this movie, I don't think so. You'll get just about your money's worth.  

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