Ally Darling is a slut. At least that’s what all the women’s magazines tell her, and everyone knows those magazines are nothing but truth in pulp paper form. So Ally goes on a mission to track down her ex-bf’s, in the hopes that one of ‘em will serve as her One True Love…so she won’t have to amp up her number and become Superslut. I say hey, if you’re gonna be a superhero, what better way. And what better way to spend a few hours in the multiplex right now than with this fun little confection of a movie? Baltimore-born Anna Faris does a great job of gettin’ low for the laughs, Captain America’s Chris Evans shows that he’s more than just a stud in latex, and the laughs and love are easy. If you think your list of chick-flick movies is longer than the average list, don’t be afraid to add this one on. No-one will judge you for that. At least nobody worth knowing.
Based on Karen Bosnak’s novel “20 Times a Lady”, What’s Your Number points out the disparity between the sexes when it comes to sex. Guys bang anything that moves and that makes ‘em a stud, women run out of fingers to count with when counting conquests and they’re not marriage material. So after her younger sister’s engagement party, Ally decides that it’s no more sex, no more conquests, no more random hooking up. Naturally, she boinks her boss that night (a hilariously creepy Joel McHale, in a role more Talk Soup than Community). But her lothario neighbor Colin gets roped into helping her with the promise of Ally’s help with ditching the one-night-stands he constantly brings home. Ally’s cute, Colin’s sexy, they’re both funny…and you can figure out the rest. Thank goodness What’s Your Number has a refreshingly light touch with the romance, focusing on laughs and the awkwardness of tracking past lovers instead of the deep meaningful connection the leads share. The chemistry between Faris and Evans is off the charts anyway, so gilding that lily would have had the movie ending up a clunker.
This movie wouldn’t work without the supporting characters, and the casting department did it’s homework here. Besides Joel McHale, Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) plays an indifferent granola-guy, Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) plays now-gay Republican wannabe Tom, Reno 911’s Thomas Lennon plays gynecologist ex Barrett, and as a pi’ce de rÃ©sistance, Andy Samberg has a cameo as Gerry Perry, the guy Ally loses her virginity to. Seeing Faris and Samberg, two comedic actors that have no problem going anywhere for a laugh, get down and dirty is hilarous and cringeworthy. Dave Annable (Brothers & Sisters) plays Ally’s “one that got away”, and he nails the role of a guy that is just a bit too perfect. Cute points for casting Faris’ real-life hubby Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) as ex “Disgusting Donald”, the guy that gets her started on her crazy adventure by being better now than he was then.
The usual chick-flick cliche’s run hot & heavy here, but they’re cute as all heck in the talented hands of director Mark Mylod (Entourage, the amazingly wonderful BBC rom-com series Cold Feet). Ally and Colin meet cute, but can’t stand each other. Ally has an amazing, huge apartment smack-dab in the middle of Boston, something a marketing assistant would never be able to afford (though scenes with her family show that her parents are rich as hell, so there’s that.) There are the requisite montages, the conflict after they finally realize they’re perfect for each other (and if I’m spoiling the movie for you by that tidbit this must be the very first romance you’ve ever thought about watching in your entire life), and the big chase scene at the end. There are also lovely wedding vows, gorgeous Boston scenery, and a wacky ending that has real emotional depth.
Though What’s Your Number shows that all ends well after Ally’s ex-tracking binge, I’m not sure I’d do it myself. Would you?