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What's Your Number?(2011)
A woman, having hit her sexual limit at 20 men, decides to track down the other 19 guys in hopes that she's overlooked one who could be "the one."
For more about What's Your Number? and the What's Your Number? Blu-ray release, see What's Your Number? Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on January 12, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Chris Pratt, Thomas Lennon (III), Andy Samberg
Director: Mark Mylod
» See full cast & crew
What's Your Number? Blu-ray Review
Once...twice...three times a lazy rom-com.
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, January 12, 2012
Never has the phrase "by the numbers" seemed so apt. Look, I don't expect rom-com chick flicks to break much new cinematic ground, but throw me a bone here, Hollywood, and at the very least vary the formula a bit. What's Your Number? is a bottom of the barrel-scraping premise--a girl tracks down her 19 ex-lovers in order to find Mr. Right-- dressed up in all the usual cliche romantic comedy accoutrements. There's the bitchy divorced mom--played by Blythe Danner, no less--and the gay wedding planner. The uptight sister and the Chatty-Cathy, peanut gallery friends. The "perfect" guy who can't see the girl for who she is and the scuzzy dude-next-door who seems like a man-whore but turns out to have a heart of gold. You've seen this movie before, a thousand times over. Maybe not with the same actors or an identical set-up, but trust me, you're already intimately--maybe even contemptuously--familiar with What's Your Number's brand of ditzy and demeaning girls-night-out "comedy." So, let me save you some time and suggest that you just see Bridesmaids instead, a far far better raunchy, R-rated, female-centric film that's actually funny and smart and does something new with a genre prone to staleness.
For those still curious about What's Your Number, I'll try to make this quick. The always underutilized and misused Anna Faris stars as Ally Darling--yes, that's really her last name--an early thirtysomething marketing assistant whose real passion is sculpting wacky "urban street scenes" in clay. (OMG, she's, like, so creative.) She's also something of a serial dater who's never been able to settle down. Not that she doesn't want to. Flipping through Marie Claire after losing her job, she comes across an article claiming the average woman has 10.5 lovers in her lifetime. Ally has had nineteen. Her soon-to-be-married sis (Ari Graynor) and girlfriends basically slut-shame her, so she comes up with a resolution to not have sex with another guy until she's found "the one." ("I don't have control over much, but I do have control over my pelvic floor," she says.) Of course, she breaks her self-imposed rule that very night by sleeping with her skeevy, finger- sniffing former boss (Community's Joel McHale), but in the cold light of the morning after, this does have the effect of steeling her resolve.
Enter Colin Shea (Chris Evans), Ally's frequently shirtless and often pants-less across-the-hall neighbor, an unsuccessful musician who beds a different woman just about every night. (Unnecessary spoiler alert: This is the chump she ends up with.) Colin starts using Ally's apartment as a hiding spot to avoid seeing his conquests in the morning, and the two strike up a surprisingly platonic friendship, especially considering they'll both seemingly do anything that moves. Colin even offers to help Ally track down her onetime lovers when the sexually sworn-off blond determines to find a husband among her exes solely to avoid increasing her "number." And there's your gimmick. You can see where this is going. Ally will stalk her erstwhile beaus-- none of whom is the perfect fit, so to speak--all the while falling unwittingly in love with the underemployed and oversexed Colin, who learns his own little life lesson about what it means to really know a woman. That is, not in the biblical sense.
The film struggles to stay aloft while flitting from one episodic ex-boyfriend encounter to the next. SNL's Andy Samberg plays a creepy puppeteer who brings his felt companions to bed, Reno 911's Thomas Lennon is a gynecologist who only recognizes Ally by her vagina, and The Hurt Locker's Anthony Mackie breaks her heart as a closeted politician who only wants to use her as a "beard." The best guest spot is from Martin Freeman--Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit movies--who shows up as a Brit who was convinced Ally is English, but gets a rude awakening when her put-on accent slips from posh to cockney. Eventually, Ally goes after the man her materialistic mother wants her to date, a rich politician's son (Dave Annable), but naturally he's more concerned about his career than her artistic aspirations. Surprise, surprise, her real soulmate is the guy right under her nose, or, rather, half-naked on her couch, strumming a guitar.
Yes, the whole premise is derivative and transparent and unsurprising, but better rom-coms have done much more with far less. After all, it's really all about the execution. And that's where What's Your Number fails, falling flat early on and never picking itself back up. There's simply no reason why a 106-minute rom-com should feel like it's three and a half hours long. (Don't get me started on the 117-minute unrated "ex-tended" cut.) I've seen Béla Tarr films with faster pacing. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but really--What's Your Number drags on interminably and could easily stand to lose a good fifteen minutes from its runtime.
It's not just that the film is longer than it needs to be, though; there's also an almost startling lack of energy thanks to a leaden script and tired performances. Anna Faris can be funny, but she needs to be unbridled and given good material. Here, as the foul- mouthed Ally, she limply flubs her way through one social faux-pas after another. Her weave catches on fire. She squeezes into a dress three sizes too tight. She gives a drunken toast that goes viral on YouTube. Et cetera, et cetera. As for Captain America himself, Chris Evens, well, let's just say that he's entirely unconvincing as a scruffy, Converse All- Stars-wearing musician. And I have a hard time believing his womanizing character is fully reformed by the end of the film. I look forward to the sequel, where he cheats on Ally right as the baby-fever alarm on her biological clock starts going off, causing her to fly into a homicidal rampage. A guy can dream, can't he?
What's Your Number? Blu-ray, Video Quality
What's Your Number was shot on 35mm and features the same kind of bright, flat, and realistic cinematography you get from most modern-day rom-coms, a visual style that--oddly enough--isn't always flattering to its stars. But that's a topic for another time. As far as 20th Century Fox's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer goes, I've got no real reservations. As usual with Fox titles, there's no egregious DNR filtering or edge enhancement here, just a clean, natural-looking image with a healthy, unimposing grain structure. (Grain intensity does spike during darker scenes, but that's to be expected.) While this isn't the sharpest film you'll see on Blu-ray this year--or even this week--there's a satisfying degree of fine high definition detail in facial, hair, and clothing textures, especially in closeups. The picture is distinctly unstylized, with a neutral color cast and a look that values realism over moodiness, but the color is dense and balanced, rocking warm skin tones and decently punchy contrast. Finally, sitting pretty on a dual-layer, 50 GB disc, the transfer doesn't display any overt compression or encode issues beyond some light noise. Not bad at all.
What's Your Number? Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Rom-coms aren't known for their mind-blowing, eardrum-shattering aural experiences, and What's Your Number is no different, but you can at least expect clarity and relative dynamic fullness from the film's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. The rear channels don't get constant play, but they are called into service when necessary, providing nightclub ambience, traffic sounds, and other light effects. The score also fills all the main speakers, although the music is dippy and forgettable--the stuff of sit-com soundtracks. (The subwoofer only rouses from slumber during one early club scene, where the bass keeps runnin', runnin', and runnin', runnin'...) Where it counts for this kind of film--clean, balanced, easily understood dialogue--this track has no problems whatsoever. The disc includes optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles for those who might need or want them.
What's Your Number? Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
You can tell Fox is half-heartedly shuffling this one out, as the only real features on the disc are a handful of deleted scenes and a gag reel. No EPK featurettes, no gushing praise from the cast and crew, no audio commentaries or making-of documentaries.
What's Your Number? Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Bridesmaids has ushered us into the age of the raunchy, female-centric comedy, and What's Your Number is the first wannabe, a laughless, ploddingly paced experience that seems much longer than its 106 minutes. Skip the longer, "unrated extended cut," which just adds to the misery. In fact, skip the whole thing and just watch Bridesmaids again. What's Your Number just isn't worth your time.
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What's Your Number? Blu-ray, News and Updates
• What's Your Number Blu-ray - November 29, 2011
Next year, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will bring What's Your Number to Blu-ray. This romantic comedy stars Anna Faris (Scary Movie) as a marketing executive who teams up with her libidinous next-door neighbor (Chris Evans, Captain America: The First ...
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