First the good news. After a decade of being the best thing in an otherwise generally unmemorable sequence of movies, Anna Faris has finally landed the leading role in a major Hollywood rom-com. Now the not-so-good news: that Hollywood rom-com is Mark Mylod’s What’s Your Number?
The latest in a series of high-concept summer comedies, What’s Your Number? is the story of a free-spirited young woman (Faris) who panics about her singleton status as her younger sister (Graynor)’s wedding draws ever near. Convinced she has indulged in too many one-nights stands to attract a decent bloke, she decides not to add to the number but look instead among her exes for Mr Right. (Just as the mobile phone dominated the plots of dating movies in the 1980s, so Facebook has became the plot twist of choice in recent years.)
Faris is aided and abetted in her Ex Factor quest by her hunky neighbour (Evans) whom she first encounters while naked in her hallway. (Can you guess where this plot-line is going?)
The best thing about What’s Your Number? is Faris herself but even as gifted a comedienne as she needs a decent script with a good supply of jokes and she doesn’t get it here. It all goes wrong from as early as the opening scene where Faris wakes up beside her latest bloke (Zachary Quinto), secretly pops into the bathroom for a wash and brush-up before sidling between the sheets in time for her beau to wake up and be dazzled by her morning allure. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s the same sequence we saw in Bridesmaids, involving Kirsten Wiig and Jon Hamm, a movie that knocks spots off this one in both the rom and com stakes.
Indeed, most of the gags in What’s Your Number? fall into three categories: (1) the obvious ones we’ve seen in a dozen other movies; (2) the lame ones that invariably occur in a movie where the plot-line is so unconvincing; and (3) the crude ones that seem over the top but are there in a putative attempt to make the movie seem more edgy and daring.
Memo to Anna Faris: keep the faith, girl; there's a decent script out there with your name on it, though it may require you to arm-wrestle Kristen Wiig and Mila Kunis to get hold of it.