There’s nothing wrong with mindless comedy (after all, Adam Sandler has made a career out of it). There is something wrong, though, with mindless comedy that doesn’t at least try to take a unique approach but instead rides the coattails of the hundreds of iterations that have come before it. This is the path What’s Your Number? has chosen to take. It is a boring, unfunny movie that doesn’t feature even a single original concept, character or idea.
Ally (Anna Faris, who deserves much better than this) is a young woman living in Boston who, at the start of the movie, loses her boyfriend and her job in the same morning. Her boyfriend seems like a bit of a tool, so that is good news. But losing a job is never good, even when your boss is as creepy as Roger (Joel McHale), who has a strange obsession with smelling his own fingers.
On her way home, Ally reads in a magazine that women who have had 20 or more sexual partners are unlikely to find a husband. She is shocked to learn that number because she herself has already had 19 partners. Feeling like her chances of finding the right man may continue to dwindle, Ally decides she will not sleep with anyone else until she is sure he will become her husband. With the help of her philandering neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans), Ally decides to track down all of her previous partners in hopes of finding one who might have magically turned into husband material.
Director Mark Mylod seems overwhelmed with even this simple movie and smashes together as many different tricks as he can. Watching What’s Your Number? is kind of like watching a child who is given a video camera and told to go play. Mylod has no sense of how to pace a movie and is constantly stopping and starting the story which makes the hour and 40 minute runtime seem like three times that long.
Not helping the excruciatingly slow pace is the absence of any comedy whatsoever. Sure, Faris is trying her hardest and Evans is decent, but the movie itself is so tired and unoriginal that the scenes which are supposed to be funny are just painful to watch. Faris and her female friends engage in crass conversations because that’s what worked in Bridesmaids, but here it feels forced and unnatural. As one of the more talented comedic actresses working today, it would be terrible if What’s Your Number? is a sign of things to come for Faris.
The only redeeming aspect of the film is the surprisingly convincing chemistry between Faris and Evans. Their playful banter and budding relationship actually feels real even though their trajectory is predictable due to the script’s reliance on every romantic comedy from the 1990s.
What’s Your Number? is just plain bad and should be avoided at all costs.
This film runs 106 minutes and is rated R.