Jun 18, 2012

[Movies] What's Your Number? (2011)

Romantic comedy movies occupy a special place in our hearts when you really get down to it. The reason they're so successful has more to do with the fact that at one point or another we all wanted to fall in love with the perfect guy or girl. But as much as the more realistic and dramatic representation of this part of the human experience can be emotionally fulfilling, more often than not we'd rather be able to laugh at our humanity. Thus the continued power of comedies.

To be fair, a lot of romantic comedies tend to be rather well-written and are highly witty compared to a lot of the more slapstick, gross-out humor that we see in most conventional comedies these days, so that's another point in favor of these movies. The only real thing going against them is then tendency to go for tropes and cliches and the fact that a lot of guys (straight or whatever) frown on these movies as "chick flicks" and leave it at that.

Now this movie was yet another adaptation of a popular book that tried to involve fairly familiar stars in order to get some mileage. Like most movies in this genre, it could have been a lot better, but I guess we should just go with what we can get, huh?

Synopsis: What's Your Number? is a 2011 romantic comedy movie based on the book 20 Times a Lady by Karyn Bosnak. It was directed by Mark Mylod with a screenplay by Gabrielle Allen and Jennifer Crittenden.

Anna Faris at the Observe and Report world pre...
Anna Faris at the Observe and Report world premiere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We start with Ally Darling (Anna Faris) waking up to another guy in her bed at the end of another one night stand, or thereabouts. That's sort of been the mold of her life outside of her marketing job. But as she promptly lose said job at the start of the movie, she stumbles across an article in an issue of Marie Clare that indicates that the average number of guys that women have slept with is about 10 and that beyond 20 they tend to lose all hope of marriage. Realizing that her experience includes way more than 10 guys, Ally starts to panic.

Thus as her sister is preparing for her own wedding, Anna decides to try down her 19 ex-boyfriends / flings in order to re-evaluate if any of them are dating / marriage material. By going back through her exes, she feels she can avoid hitting that magical 20 number and reach the magazine's promised state of failure. And she finds an unusual ally in the form of her womanizing sexy neighbor Colin (Chris Evans), whose former police experience gives him unique skills when it comes to tracking down the names in Ally's black book.

Now the movie didn't exactly register as much of an impressive when I first saw the trailers - most likely because I'm not used to Anna Faris as a leading lady in a romantic comedy. Or as a leading lady. Well. And I wanted to give her a chance, I really did. But there are some challenges with her.

Her acting style has always been quirky and awkward - which is probably why she has generally worked in quirky, off-beat comedies. However her acting style in those movies isn't something you'd naturally translate to the darling lead in a romantic comedy. We generally expect her to act crazy or to get into some hilarious moment of physical comedy that involves her getting hurt with large bunt objects. And she still has moments like that here in the movie, I felt they didn't quite work for the overall flow.

Then we come to the other half of the equation - Chris Evans. Now this isn't exactly the first time Evans has stepped up to the plate for a movie of this nature, although we probably remember him more for his more recent action movie activity in super hero flicks like Captain America and The Avengers. And for the most part he's pretty decent in the funny and charming department, however I expect a lot more viewers walked away with a greater impression of him being nearly naked a lot. Like a LOT of times in the movie.

I suppose one should not complain about that sort of thing, right?

The plot seemed a tad predictable the moment we first saw Chris Evans emerge from his apartment nearly naked, but then again this is a romantic comedy and not a serious look at the plight of native tribes in the Amazon or something. But it also didn't exactly give a lot of reward in terms of funny moments as we experience all the different men that Ally has dated in the past and how they are now. The writing had potential I suppose but the execution lacked any real appeal. Thus a lot of the potential humor was drained out or presented in a manner that fell flat on its face.

What's Your Number? does not add anything new to the romantic comedy library but it does give us a LOT of Chris Evans' body. So figure out what you might want to watch the movie, but that item is probably the best reason to do so. But that doesn't mean the movie can rate more than 2 crazy basketball shots that Ally manages to execute out of a possible 5.

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  1. Gustong-gusto ko si Chris Evans sa movie na 'to. He's very HOT in this movie :)