×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

What’s Your Number?

It's never a good sign when the funniest line in your romantic comedy is, "Did you visit the Holocaust museum?"

With:
Ally Darling - Anna Faris
Colin Shea - Chris Evans
Daisy Darling - Ari Graynor
Jake Adams - Dave Annable
Roger the Boss - Joel McHale
Mr. Darling - Ed Begley Jr.
Ava Darling - Blythe Danner

It’s never a good sign when the funniest line in your romantic comedy is, “Did you visit the Holocaust museum?” and has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Such is the case with “What’s Your Number?,” a draggy, generally laugh-free outing that wastes a perfectly good Anna Faris, here playing a spacy sexpot who decides, after having slept with 20 different guys, that it’s probably time to settle down. With Chris Evans cast as an all-too-obvious Mr. Right, this inane I’ll-never-be-slutty-again farce should post OK theatrical and homevid numbers for Fox.

Ditched by her latest fling (Zachary Quinto) about five minutes after the opening credits, Ally Darling (Faris) is a boozy Boston blonde whose dating standards have plunged lower than her neckline. When she reads a magazine article about how the average American woman has 10.5 lovers over her lifetime, Ally realizes she’s slept with nearly twice that number and is in danger of making herself unmarriageable. That she’s recently lost her job and has no apparent interests beyond making clay-figurine dioramas doesn’t improve her prospects.

Resolving to stop fooling around and find a husband, Ally decides to look up her ex-boyfriends, one by one, in hopes of rekindling an old flame without raising her number to 21. Helping her with some detective work is her neighbor Colin (Evans), a laid-back guitarist and serial womanizer who’s clearly hot for Ally himself, though she’s wary of hooking up with someone even more whorish than she is.

So begins a series of mirthless wild-goose chases as Colin helps Ally stalk her exes across the country. One of them (Chris Pratt) seems to have shed a few hundred pounds and is now engaged to a sexy engineer; another (Anthony Mackie) asks her to marry him for the least romantic possible reasons. She steers clear of the more nightmarish suitors, who are relegated to flashbacks.

Ally’s clearly wasting her time, and the viewer may come to feel likewise. Unable to build or sustain comic situations, Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden’s script (adapted from Karyn Bosnak’s novel “20 Times a Lady”) resorts to jokes so random and context-free they almost qualify as non sequiturs, cueing viewers to laugh when a bit player turns out to be a compulsive finger-sniffer or when Ally’s hair catches fire for no reason.

Less vulgar and over-the-top than some of the year’s other R-rated comedies, “Number” riffs on the pitfalls of promiscuity en route to a predictably safe, sweet, pro-commitment happy ending. Viewers will get their fill of coy near-nudity and genital-centric one-liners, but none of the sophistication or honesty about gender-based double standards they might reasonably expect from such a scenario. Pic does bear a vague resemblance to recent summer hit “Bridesmaids” in the way it uses an upcoming wedding (that of Ally’s sister, nicely played by Ari Graynor) to zero in on a single gal’s early-midlife funk, but its portrait of distaff distress is nowhere near as insightful or funny.

A superior comic actress whose talents have been better showcased elsewhere, Faris works little of her usual magic here, largely because the film essentially shares Ally’s dim opinion of herself. There’s no secret-weapon intelligence or killer timing behind Faris’ ditzy veneer this time; she really is just playing a dumb blonde who can’t hold her liquor. Evans’ nice smile and nicer muscles get the job done, and Blythe Danner and Ed Begley Jr. submit OK turns as Ally’s divorced parents.

Glossily helmed by Mark Mylod (“Ali G Indahouse”) and crammed with tiresome pop-slathered montages, “Number” also teems with references to Facebook and Twitter that are meant to show how up-to-the-minute the film is, but will have the effect of dating it instantly.

What's Your Number?

Production: A 20th Century Fox release of a Regency Enterprises presentation of a New Regency/Contrafilm production. Produced by Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson. Executive producers, Arnon Milchan, Anna Faris, Nan Morales. Directed by Mark Mylod. Screenplay, Gabrielle Allan, Jennifer Crittenden, based on the book "20 Times a Lady" by Karyn Bosnak.

Crew: Camera (color, Deluxe prints), J. Michael Muro; editor, Julie Monroe; music, Aaron Zigman; music supervisor, Julia Michels; production designer, Jon Billington; art director, David Swayze; set decorator, Denise Pizzini; costume designer, Amy Westcott; sound (Dolby/DTS), David J. Schwartz; supervising sound editors, Karen Baker Landers, Per Hallberg; re-recording mixers, Joe Barnett, Mathew Waters; special effects coordinator, John Ruggieri; visual effects supervisor, Dottie Starling; stunt coordinators, G.A. Aguilar, Stephen Pope; casting, Kathleen Chopin. Reviewed at Fox Studios, Los Angeles, Sept. 27, 2011. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 106 MIN.

With: Ally Darling - Anna Faris
Colin Shea - Chris Evans
Daisy Darling - Ari Graynor
Jake Adams - Dave Annable
Roger the Boss - Joel McHale
Mr. Darling - Ed Begley Jr.
Ava Darling - Blythe DannerWith: Heather Burns, Eliza Coupe, Kate Simses, Tika Sumpter, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pratt, Anthony Mackie.

More Film

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jacek Bednarczyk/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

    Jonas Mekas, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 96

    Jonas Mekas, the Lithuania-born filmmaker who started Film Culture magazine and the organization that became New York’s Anthology Film Archives, died Wednesday. He was 96. Anthology Film Archives wrote on Instagram, “He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.” More Reviews Concert Review: Lady Gaga Outdoes Her Other Vegas Show With Masterful 'Jazz [...]

  • Annapurna Hire

    Annapurna Ups Sue Naegle to Chief Content Officer, Names Ivana Lombardi President of Film

    Sue Naegle has been named chief content officer at Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Naegle joined the company as head of television in 2016, and will now oversee development and production in film, TV, video games, and the company’s theater division. As part of the reorganization, Ivana Lombardi has been named president of film, a role [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content