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What’s Your Number? (movie review)

It’s Anna Faris (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and the Captain himself, Chris Evans, together, in a comedy! That sounds promising! And yet, despite its somewhat unique premise, What’s Your Number? is a by the numbers twenty first century romantic comedy. (You see what I did there?)

The more I think about this movie, the more I think it was assembled by a committee in an attempt to please as many people as possible. This is probably true of most big budget movies, but it’s not usually so transparent.

Here’s what I think happened:

A bunch of film executives gather around a table and decided to make a romantic comedy feature film. This automatically appeals to women in an “18 to 80” sort of way, but that, of course, is not enough. How do they get guys into the theater? To this end, I think they decided to tap into Judd Apatow’s market by making this a Rated R movie filled with casual swearing and a bizarre amount of flesh yet still no nudity. Plenty of shirtless Chris Evans for the ladies and all sorts of angles on Anna Faris for the fellas. There’s even a Toofer in there – one character is both black and gay – hitting two minority groups with one character? “BA-ZING!” (That’s the noise I think movie producers make whenever they think they’ve hit the marketing nail right on the head.) Oh, and coming back to the “How do we get guys into the theater?” question, casting Captain America helps. (Mr. Spock has one scene at the film’s opening – this is probably not an accident.) But, in case older folks don’t care for whippersnappers like Anna Faris and Chris Evans, Ed Begley Jr. has a small supporting role, too. Speaking of which, what a waste of Ed Begley Jr. It’s always nice to see a good actor in a movie, but it’s annoying when they don’t have anything to do.

Oh right, the premise: it sounds unique, but the more I think about it, the more I think I’ve seen this movie before. Anna Faris’ character learns that most women sleep with about 10 men in their lifetime. (This sounds high to me, but what do I know? Just to placate me, a character in the movie expresses this exact sentiment – they really left no stone unturned!) Since she’s already at 19 and then quickly 20, she wants to revisit her exes to find out if any of them are husband material so she can keep her number of partners from rising any higher. This idea that here is a double standard regarding the number of partners women have is a legitimate idea, but once she becomes committed to keeping the number from rising instead of just living her life as she sees fit, the movie becomes a retread. (Chris Evans’ character rightly laughs at this idea of partner control.) Now, the audience finds themselves watching one of those movies where the protagonist reconnects with all of their exes (good examples of this includes High Fidelity and Broken Flowers) and I gotta tell ya, I’m sick of that movie.

But more than the retreaded plot, the flick takes too long to set up Anna Faris’ character and the movie’s premise. I don’t think we meet Chris Evans’ character until the twenty minute mark. He’s hovering around, but I don’t think we really hear him speak for a very long while. What I’m trying to say is the first act is padded – this movie doesn’t need to be 106 minutes – a tight 90 would do fine.

It’s not terrible, but What’s Your Number? is too long, not as unique as it thinks it is and targets too large an audience for its own good. Still, Chris Evans is funny and a strong supporting player while Anna Faris does her best to juggle the script she’s been presented. She’s funny, but the movie itself kinda wears her performance down on the audience – as in, how many times can you watch Anna Farris do the same thing? Comfortably, it’s less times than what’s presented here. I’m giving What’s Your Number? a 5 out of 10. It’s cliche, but it has good performances and at least it’s less than two hours.

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on May 13, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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