DVD Review: What’s Your Number?

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Mark Mylod | CAST: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley, Jr., Chris Pratt, Joel McHale
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 1/10/2012 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
BONUSES: extended flashback dates, gag reel, deleted scenes
SPECS: NR/R | 106 min. | Romantic comedy | 1.85:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Even a so-so Anna Faris (Take Me Home Tonight) film is watchable as long as Faris is allowed to do her perky, silly thing. Ms. Faris is definitely the best part of the disappointing romantic comedy movie What’s Your Number?. That said, it was tough to make it through this one.

Based on Karyn Bosnak‘s novel 20 Times a Lady, What’s Your Number? finds Faris playing a freshly fired marketing babe who, on the eve of her young sister’s (Ari Graynor, Lucky) wedding, is worried that she’ll never find the right man. Having slept with 19 guys, she decides to check up on all of them and target one for marriage, particularly because she read a survey that states gals who sleep with 20 or more men will never find a mate.

What's Your Number?

Anna Faris pulls her hair out over her romantic predicament in What' Your Number?

And so, with the help of her studly nextdoor neighbor (Chris Evans, Captain America), Anna sets out on a series of encounters with her past boyfriends, intercut with a bunch of flashbacks of her original dates with those same fellahs. It’s a cute idea that plays into the recent wave of sexually aggressive, naughtier-than-usual chick flicks led by this year’s Bridesmaids. But the jokes and scenarios aren’t that funny or clever, and they come at such a rapid clip that, even if they worked, they aren’t given enough time to sink in.

Faris has some fun in the role, but her character gets mired in a little too much self-loathing and wine-drinking to be as appealing as she could be. And though it’s ridiculous to point this out in a Hollywood romantic comedy, should a young, unemployed woman have such an extensive wardrobe of designer clothes?

Faris’ co-stars — including guys Chris Pratt (Deep in the Valley), Joel McHale (Spy Kids 4: All the TIme in the World) and Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits), who all get a chnce to act silly, and Blythe Danner (Waiting for Forever) and Ed Begley Jr. (Fatal Secrets) as her central casting-ish parents — are all up to snuff for their one-note, generally silly roles.

For a studio romantic comedy, What’s Your Number? is shot and edited in a style that isn’t all that conducive to the material. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with hand-held camera, off-center shot compositions and jagged cutting. But this is the kind of film that would enjoy smoother sailing with the kind of studio sheen that one sees in a Katherine Heigl (Life As We Know It) or Jennifer Aniston (The Switch) movie. Anna Faris is fresh and off-beat, yes, but What’s Your Number? is not, and director Mike Mylod’s shaggy-dog approach is more suited to premium cable’s Shameless and Ali G Indahouse, two of his earlier efforts.

The bonus features on the DVD are a small lot primarily comprised of deleted scenes and extended flashback sequences, neither of which are all that funny.

The gag reel shows the cast frequently missing cues and screwing up lines, which, as usual, results in them bursting into laughter in front of the camera. And, as usual again, the cast is having a better time than the viewers (and they’re getting paid for it!).

 

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Even a so-so Anna Faris (Take Me Home Tonight) film us watchable is fun as long as Faris is allowed to do her perky, silly thing and she’s definitely the best part of the disappointing romantic comedy movie What’s Your Number?.

That said, it was tough to make it through this one.

Based on Karyn Bosnak‘s novel 20 Times a Lady, the film finds Faris playing a freshly-fired marketing exec who, on the eve of her young sister’s (Ari Graynor, ) wedding, is worried that she’ll never find the right guy. Having slept with 19 guys, she decides to check up o all of them and target one for marriage, particularly since she’s read a survey that states gals who sleep with 20 or more men will never find a mate.

And so, with the help of her studly next-door-neighbor (Chris Evans, Captain America), Anna sets out on a series of encounters with her past boyfriends, intercut with a bunch of flashbacks of her original dates with those same fellahs. It’s a cute idea that plays into the recent wave of sexually-aggressive, naughtier-than-usual chick flicks led by this year’s Bridesmaids. But the jokes and scenarios aren’t that funny or clever and they come at such a rapid clip that—even if they worked—they aren’t given time to sink in.

Faris has some fun in the role, but her character gets mired in a little too much self-loathing and wine-drinking to be as appealing as she should be. And though it’s ridiculous to point this out in a Hollywood romantic comedy, should a young, unemployed woman have such an extensive wardrobe of designer clothes?

Faris’s co-stars—including guys Chris Pratt (Deep in the Valley), Joel McHale (Spy Kids 4: All the TIme in the World) and Andy Samberg (Friends With Benefits), who all get a chnce to act silly, and Blythe Danner (Waiting for Forever) and Ed Begley Jr. (Fatal Secrets) as her central casting-ish parents—are all up to snuff for their one-note, generally silly roles. Chris Evans gets a little more of a chance to be a character, but that’s only because he ends up with you-know-who by the end.

 

And for a studio rom-com, What’s Your Number? is shot and edited in a style that isn’t all that conducive to the material Don’t get me wrong—I have no problem with hand-held camera, off-center shot compositions and jagged cutting. But this is the kind of film that would enjoy smoother sailing with the kind of studio sheen that one sees in a Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Aniston vehicle. Anna Faris is fresh and off-beat, yes, but the story is not, and a director Mike Mylod’s shaggy-dog approach is more suited to premium cable’s Shameless and Ali G Indahouse, two of his earlier efforts.

 

The bonus features are a small lot primarily comprised of deleted scenes and extended flashback sequences, neither of which are all that funny. The gag shows the cast frequently missing cues and screwing up lines which, as usual, results in them bursting into laughter as the camera roles. And, as usual again, the cast is definitely having a better time than the viewers (and they’re getting paid for it!).

 

 

 

 

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.