Tuesday, October 04, 2011

WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? - Farcical Fun

WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER? (romantic comedy)
Cast: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto, Andy Samberg, Ari Graynor, Martin Freeman, Matt Bomer, Chris Pratt, Ivana Milicevic and Joel McHale
Director: Mark Mylod
Screenplay by Gabrielle Allan, Jennifer Crittenden and Karyn Bosnak
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

PREAMBLE: The main problem with most romantic comedies is that everyone knows who the female protagonist is going to end up with - except for the lead characters themselves. In What's Your Number?, the situation is worse: we all know who Ally Darling (Anna Faris) will end up with after just 10 minutes into the movie, thus making the rest of the proceedings a prolonged foreplay because she will not 'go past 20' (this will be explained later).

And talking about 'foreplay', this R-rated comedy is so full of sexy dialogue about penises and vaginas that your mom's ears will blister.

SYNOPSIS: After losing her stuffy boyfriend (Zachary Quinto) and her marketing job all in one day, Ally discovers more bad news. She learns from a magazine article that the average American woman has 10.5 lovers in her lifetime, and Ally realizes she's slept with nearly twice that number and is in danger of making herself unable to get married.

Spooked by this ridiculous fear of remaining a slut, she decides not to go past her 20 lovers and instead 'review' her old flames for marriage material. To do this she enlists her hunky neighbour, Colin Shea (Chris Evans still showing off his Captain America body) to help her track down the guys in her past, hoping that one of them will propose to her. In return, Ally allows Colin, a struggling musician, to hide from his one-night stands in her apartment.

HITS & MISSES: This flimsy excuse for a movie is based on Karyn Bosnak’s 2006 novel, “20 Times a Lady”. It is reminiscent of Bridesmaids because it has a subplot about the upcoming wedding of Ally's younger sister, Daisy (Ari Graynor) to another hunk (played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Blythe Danner is an old hen (err, hand) at playing Ally's snobbish mom while Ed Begley Jr appears briefly as her father.

One thing we can delight in is Faris' performance and her bubbly chemistry with Evans. This is her movie and she is in top form playing an airhead who is good for nothing except making cute clay figurines for dioramas. Ally's exes are well picked too including Martin Freeman as her Brit lover, Chris Pratt (Faris' real-life hubby) as 'Disgusting Donald', and Joel McHale as her scratch-and-sniff boss. To be fair, there is a fair number of raunchy laughs to be had but my main peeve is that director Mark Mylod opts for the senseless melodramatic ending that seems to squeeze the last drop of humour from a hopelessly predictable script.

THE LOWDOWN: Farcical but fun.


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