What’s Your Number?
Director: Mark Mylod
Writer: Gabrielle Allan, Jennifer Crittenden
Based on: Karyn Bosnak‘s novel
Cast: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley Jr., Joel McHale, Chris Pratt, Zachary Quinto, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg, Anthony Mackie, Aziz Ansari
Seen on: 4.9.2016
Ally (Anna Faris) has been dating for a while but so far she wasn’t very lucky. But then two things happen that makes her tackle the issue more aggressively: she gets fired from her job and needs to re-orient herself and she reads an article that says that women who sleep with more than 20 men usually don’t get married. After a quick count, Ally realizes that she slept with 19 men so far – and so she decides to look up all her old boyfriends to re-date them and not add to the list. To track all of them down, Ally gets help from her neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) who in turn gets Ally’s help to get rid of the girls he brings home all the time.
What’s Your Number? does pretty much everything wrong that a RomCom could possibly do wrong (apart from getting Chris Evans naked a lot, that’s excellent), but at least Ally and Colin are surprisingly likeable. But when that’s the best thing you can say about a film, it’s probably clear that the film really doesn’t need to be seen.
The concept behind What’s Your Number? is so inane, I can barely believe that somebody thought that it would be a good idea. I mean, have Ally look up her exes because she’s feeling nostalgic or because she doubts her own decisions, but please, don’t make it because she believes that she will have to either marry the 20th guy she sleeps with (or one before) or die alone. For a bit it looks like the film actually tries to undermine the idea that the number of people you sleep with says much about you, but while they avoid outright slutshaming, there’s enough implicit slutshaming – for women only, of course – to run counter to that. And then the film ends with the realization that Colin isn’t Ally’s 21st guy (like she thought at first) but her 20th guy after all and since he is THE ONE, it proves that fucking article right despite all what came before it.
But that basic stupidity is not enough for the film. We get sexism in pretty much every scene, plus homophobic, transphobic and rape jokes as well, all of it in a very white world where you only get POC for the quota. Thanks, but no, thanks.
The thing is, there was potential here to make this film into something really good. Anna Faris and Chris Evans have great chemistry and manage to wrangle every bit of likebality from their characters that they could possibly get from then. Every once in a while, this makes it possible for you to forget the stupidity of it all and see the sweetness (when Colin encourages Ally’s art) and the fun (when they play strip basketball, another excellent opportunity to get Chris Evans naked).
But you have to unpack so much shit to get to the good bits, it just isn’t worth it. Which is unfortunate, but I’d rather get the good bits shit-free. And for that, I’ll have to look elsewhere.