DIRECTED BY: Mark Mylod
WRITTEN BY: Gabrielle Allan, Jennifer Crittenden
STARRING: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Gryanor, Blythe Danner
RATING: 3.5 stars
I'm surprised at just how much I enjoyed this film and I think it has a lot to do with Anna Faris. Even in the most mediocre of films, Faris shines because she's so funny and easy to like. What's Your Number? may not be the most original film concept, but Faris provides enough originality to give this film legs.
Based on Karyn Bosnak's novel 20 Times A Lady, What's Your Number? tells the story of Ally (Faris) who thinks she will never get married because she’s had too many lovers. A magazine article tells her the average woman has 10.5 lovers in her lifetime, but she has already had 20 lovers without finding “the one” she wants to marry. Ally decides she won't sleep with anyone new and starts tracking down her ex-boyfriends to see if “the one” may have slipped by her. Ally's overtly sexual next-door neighbour (Chris Evans) agrees to help her with her search in exchange for her helping him escape his one-night stands by allowing him to hide out in her apartment. It sounds ridiculous, and it is, but it's also quite fun.
So many romantic comedies these days are making references to pop culture and the modern world, and this film is no different. Facebook and Twitter get massive plugs in this film in some very funny moments. We've also seen a few romantic comedies push the boundaries in recent times, such as Bridesmaids, but this film goes back to the basics of romantic comedies, which is actually quite good to see. The only difference is that both protagonists are promiscuous and the film is a little more raunchy and explicit than most sappy romantic comedies. When one potential future husband says “Well if I wasn't your first, at least I can be your last” Ally responds: “Why? Are you going to rape and kill me later?” Only Faris could pull off a line like that!
Writers Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, and director Mark Mylod have graduated from television to film and it's not a bad effort all round. Evans is also good in this role as the charming and flirty neighbour. He spends a large portion of the film either in his underwear or barely covering himself with a small towel, so there is plenty of eye candy too. Blythe Danner is also entertaining as Ally's sometimes-a-little-crazy mother.
What's Your Number? may be labelled by some as “just another romantic comedy”, but at its heart there is actually a good moral to the story. Magazines might provide us with obsessive quizzes and tips about life and love, but the truth is put quite simply in this film – happiness in love means being completely comfortable being yourself, rather than living up to other people's expectations. The aim is to find someone who will accept you for who you truly are. Awww...