Anna Faris is Ally, a young Bostonian with a bad relationship track record. Weeks before her sister is to wed she reads an article that suggests the number of sex partners a woman has had will predict her romantic success later in life. More than 20, it says, and you have virtually no hope of settling down. She realizes she’s in the danger zone. To not go over 20 she revisits all her ex-boyfriends in hopes of
finding a husband.
Richard: Mark, I’m not going to suggest What’s Your Number? is a great, or even good movie. It has a typical rom-com plot gussied up with some Judd Apatow style barbs and some gratuitous shots of its almost naked star but it also has Anna Faris, and for me that’s enough. She has crack comic timing and an unpredictable way with a line that takes a Kathryn Heigl level script and turns it into something watchable. What did you think?
Mark: Without Anna Faris, this movie would have gone directly to the DVD bin. She’s so good I was able to sit through the movie and actually laugh a few times. But I resent the movie for wanting it both ways: on the surface it seems like a raunch-com but underneath beats the heart of the typical story of a young woman who just wants to get married and settle down. And by the way, since when did bedding 20 guys in your entire life make anyone a slut? Maybe if they were all at once...
RC: Ha! Spoken like someone who has the updated edition of The Joy of Sex handy. It’s a strange movie that uses both the standard old cellphone switcheroo plot device and rape jokes. It doesn’t have the laughs of an Apatow movie or the heart... but once again, I’ll say it, it has Anna Faris.
MB: It also has Chris Evans, in a stock role that only his agent could love. But I did feel there was some genuine chemistry between him and Ms. Faris, especially in the scenes where they get hot ‘n’ sweaty. Romantic comedies like this one usually have a number of well acted, well written secondary characters, but they were completely absent from this picture, unless you count Andy Samberg’s great and ridiculous cameo.
RC: A love scene with a puppet and Andy Samberg is just one of the things — did I mention Anna Faris? — that make this movie almost special. There are just enough funny scenes (and shots of Evans’s abs) to almost make this an in-the-pocket rom com, but then the good stuff is followed by long stretches of by-the-book writing. It’s a shame to see this kind of potential wasted.
MB: I also resented the dated sexual politics of the movie. The male lead can sleep with as many partners as he likes and he’s a rake. If a woman like Faris tries the same thing, she’s a slut. This is old-school thinking, and shame on the movie for buying into it, and not challenging it.