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Movie Review: “What’s Your Number?”

Oct 012011
 
 By , October 1, 2011

“What’s Your Number?” | a film review by Gary Chew

There’s little to think about watching “What’s Your Number?”

Something to ponder, though, may be how entertaining it is, while being, as they say in Hollywood, such a templated rom-com. It’s totally predictable and serves up much of the same stuff that endears devotees to the romantic comedy genre.

There’s a wedding in it. The characters in it are asset-sufficient to not be worried about the economy. And the females are really hot and beautiful, while, except for the dweeb dudes who show up, the guys are rather craggy in the face, as well.

Ari Graynor, Anna Faris and Kate Simses

Seems Ally (Anna Faris of “House Bunny”) is big sister to Daisy (Ari Graynor seen in “Mystic River“). Daisy is about to tie-the-knot. Ally isn’t so lucky. Not only has she struck out with all the men she’s known throughout her love life, but just been sacked from her marketing job by The Boss (Joel McHale of cable’s “The Soup”).

The guy across the hall from Ally’s apartment, Colin (Chris Evans, now in “Captain America: 1st Avenger,” “Sunshine“), has drive-by girl friends who rotate in and out of his flat on a 24/7 basis, it seems. He gets rid of them by leaving his pad, telling his current “guest” that he has an appointment somewhere else, then sneaks across the hall to Ally’s place, until the girl friend gives up and exits his digs, alone. The association between Ally and Colin is—yip, you guessed it—platonic, but snarky.

If you think the title of this film, “What’s Your Number?” relates to what sequence of numerical symbols one must press to make your ring tone sound, please think again. The number in question is: how many persons—in Ally’s case, men—with whom one has shared intimate moments. At the outset, Ally’s tally is nineteen. But soon it rises to twenty during a weak moment with her old boss. You know, the jerk who just fired her.

Plainly, this is not good. So she decides not to have close moments with another new guy, thinking that one of the gentlemen in her past will have to do with regard to nailing down a husband.

Ally’s dear Republican mother, Ava Darling (played by Blythe Danner, Gwenyth Paltrow’s real mom) so wants her older daughter to marry well, just like Daisy soon will.

Anna Faris and Chris Evans

Colin, the guy with the girl factory across the hall, agrees to help Ally locate, online, all her former men friends if she’ll continue letting Colin escape the “torture” he must suffer dealing with his serial gal pals. Right, again. He gets to hole-up in Ally’s apartment till the coast is clear.

Sounds like a sitcom to me, but only on HBO or Showtime. The dialogue is almost as funny as it is explicit. The rating is “R.”

A sequence of mostly pretty funny events ensues to take you along toward the finish of this sometimes forced but giggly movie directed by Mike Mylod. He’s best known for doing some episodes of those rather naughty, hip cable sitcoms, “Entourage” and “The United States of Tara.”

Running a few checks on “What’s Your Number?” I found that all the writing was done by, yip, you guessed it, women! From a novel titled, “20 Times A Lady,” by Karyn Bosnak, would you believe that the screenplay was written by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden?

Gabby and Jen, what would your mothers say?!

Oh, one more thing. Daddy Darling, Ally and Daisy’s father, now divorced from Mrs. Darling, has his own snazzy new girl friend. She looks like she’s about 10 years older than dad’s lovely daughters. That would be Ed Begley, Jr. doing that part. He’s the liberal in the Darling klan.

Daddy helps Ally get grounded, so to speak, to bring off a pleasant finish to this blunt little fracas that telegraphs itself all the way. But who cares?

All you have to do is count the number of guffaws you’ve emitted while all the young ladies in the cast reveal their own, very private number. That, in case you’ve forgotten, is without any area code.

Opens wide September 23.

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.
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