WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? (15): On General Release Friday 30th September
Cosmopolitan Magazine has a lot to answer for. It’s shaped the world’s perception on sex and relationships for years (for good or for bad). It’s taken to a ludicrous extreme in What’s Your Number? a rom com which has occasionally extremely funny moments but which are too far and few between to really make it a cracker.
Anna Faris plays Ally, a woman who’s just split up with her boyfriend (Zachary Quinto) and has just been fired. With her younger sister’s (Ari Graynor) wedding day fast approaching, she thinks it’s time to take stock of her life. Reading an article in Cosmo, she learns that the average woman sleeps with 10.5 men in her lifetime and those who have slept with more than 20 often have trouble finding husbands.
That’s a problem for Ally as she’s already slept with 20 men and so in a bid not to increase her number, she enlists the help of her hunky womanising neighbour Colin (Chris Evans) in a bid to track down her exes to see if one of them was really the one that got away. In exchange, she agrees to let him hide in her flat while his one-night-stands leave.
From the get go, What’s Your Number? has an uphill struggle on its hands. Who cares how many people someone’s slept with especially in this day and age? And why would a throwaway article motivate someone into tracking down their exes? It’s not helped by the faintly offensive wording “have trouble finding a husband” as if that’s all women strive for.
Thankfully Anna Faris is charming enough to sell the ridiculous setup as without her the film would have tripped and fallen flat on its face (no doubt accompanied by some plinky plonky rom-com music).
She has some great chemistry with Chris Evans which is crucial in a film like this and they bounce off each other well – he has just the right mix of philandering bastardry and thoughtful sweetness; she’s wide-eyed and outspoken. Additionally, there’s some great stunt casting of Ally’s exes including Andy Samberg as her ultra-geeky cherry-popping puppeteer neighbour, Zachary Quinto as an eco-mad cyclist, Martin Freeman as an old British ex and real-life husband Chris Pratt as the reinvented Disgusting Donald.
Sadly, the film lacks the forward momentum to really be outstanding. That’s not to say there aren’t some great jokes – Samberg is particularly good in a hilarious sex scene and impossible to watch Ally try to fake a British accent without smirking – but it’s too long and there are lengthy sections which don’t contain a laugh. Consequently, it never builds up a head of steam and because it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll end up with Colin, absolutely no tension.