Don’t deny it, we can all relate to those raunchy magazine columns about weight, exercise and even romance. We make promises to ourselves to eat differently, exercise more, and look out for that “special someone,” but how many of us really stick to our plan? Ally Darling, played by Anna Farris in “What’s Your Number?” goes above and beyond to stick to her guns. After being denied a date to her sister’s wedding by her current “boyfriend” and being let go by her perverted boss, her day couldn’t seem to get any worse. With her box of office paraphernalia on her lap, she mindlessly flips through a magazine coming across a mind-boggling fact. “In America, 96% of woman who have been with 20 or more lovers can’t find a husband.” Shocked by this realization, she immediately starts to tally all those relationships and one-night stands, or “moments of weakness.” (As I’m sure you are doing right this moment!) After tallying her number, she comes to realize she has maxed out at 19! The next one “who vacations at Casa Esperanza” as she puts it, has to be THE ONE! A night of partying and fun with her sister’s wedding party pushes her over the top, or more like into bed, with Mr. 20 himself. With her number at 20, Ally finds a way to hold onto her chance at marriage by convincing herself that Mr. Right must have slipped through her fingers. All she has to do is revisit her past lovers and find the new and improved version of her rejects.
Ally tries her hand at detective work researching via the World Wide Web and comes up empty handed with over 8 million Google hits on one name alone. Her new ploy seems to be failing until her worry free next door neighbor, Colin, played by Chris Evans, comes stumbling across the hall looking for a little help himself. It seems like everyday she finds him out in the hall, naked and poorly concealed, (Which is just fine for all the ladies out there!) painfully waiting for his woman friends to leave every morning. According to Ally this “Playboy” she has living next door is all that is wrong in the world. With her options dwindling, Ally makes a deal with Colin exchanging full use of her apartment as a hideout after he leaves his dates in the morning, for his extensive help hunting down all of her Exes.
Throughout Colin’s research, he uncovers a past that Ally would have much rather forgotten including a rather slender version of her obese ex, now engaged, a bartending magician who still has a knack for finding coins behind women’s ears, and a gynecologist who can’t recognize faces as well as he can recognize other parts of the body. In the beginning of their research, Colin sees Ally as nothing but a challenge that refuses to sleep with him, while she is only using him for information. As the search for the exes becomes more intensive, Ally and Colin end up spending more and more time with one another, unexpectedly learning more about each other in the process. Their unanticipated friendship is solidified when Colin agrees to going to Ally’s sister’s wedding with her. Colin’s revolving door lifestyle continues across the hall as Ally continues to go on one unsuccessful date after another. Enjoying his carefree lifestyle, Colin can’t seem to keep Ally off his mind, while Ally can’t seem to enjoy herself because of the same problem. After spending day after day together their unlikely friendship begins to evolve. Fate takes a turn when Ally decides that maybe numbers don’t matter after all and life is meant to be lived, not restricted. Taking control of her life, Ally allows herself to explore her feelings for Colin and be happy once again. Just like in most relationships, Ally and Colin encounter their ups and downs. Without giving away too much of the story… there are lies told, hair set on fire, bad timing and some awful singing!
Overall, “What’s Your Number?” is a “boy meets girl, girl hates boy, then girl likes boy (surprise, surprise), girl and boy fall in love” kinda story with a little twist involving the past. Although the past often does haunt love stories, it is usually the past inserting itself in the story, not the main character tracking the past down. Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, the screenwriters of “What’s Your Number?” continually have us guessing what ungodly situation Ally will face next. Their contemporary style allows the audience to experience the story from both of the main characters’ point of view. As a spectator, you want Ally to find true love, but hate Colin at the same time for solidifying her lack of faith in men. Meanwhile, you understand Colin’s love for uncomplicated relationships that start and end within the same 24 hours. It’s practically like you are feeling the stress of a real relationship in your movie seat! Thanks to Kathleen Chopin’s brilliant casting, you can live out the complications of a relationship picturing yourself as the gorgeous and down to earth Anna Farris or the hunky, boy next door, Chris Evans. And with appearances of vegan Zachary Quinto, perverted Joel McHale, disgusting Chris Pratt, proper Martin Freeman, recently out and proud Anthony Mackie, and handsome Dave Annable, you can’t help but look back into your own past and question some of the previous romances you have had!
“What’s Your Number?” is a movie you don’t want to miss if you have ever had the thought…What if? Mark Mylod, director, catches the insecurity we all face in relationships and are sometimes afraid to admit while playing it over and over in front of our eyes with some help from the brilliant acting onscreen. If there was ever a role Anna Farris was born to play, it was this one. She turns every girl’s nightmare of never finding “the one” into pure comedy with a genuine passion and sincere performance onscreen. Although most of you guys out there will cringe at seeing Chris Evans completely naked with only a bath towel covering the necessary body parts, keeping this movie at an R rating…suck it up! The girls love it! Besides the Captain America body, Chris Evans brings it all to the table playing the bad boy who, with the help of Ally, discovers the soft side inside him that wants a woman by his side. With an upbeat tempo, great sexual chemistry, a contemporary and relatable story, “What’s Your Number?” is a perfect mix of comedy and heart.
Review by Amanda Weber