Movies: What’s Your Number Breaks Some Boundaries, Upholds Others*.

 

I’d been looking forward to What’s Your Number for a while; Anna Faris is not someone you always see in a leading role in a mainstream, big box office rom com with Chris Evans; there’s a whole host of up-and-coming actors and established comedians (Joel McHale, Andy Samberg); and it deals with the issue of slut-shaming, the first in my memory to do so since Easy A, to name but a few reasons.

But if 20 lovers is the be all and end all in a woman’s quest to get married, then Faris’ character, Ally Darling, is up shit creek without a paddle.

When she discovers after reading a women’s magazine article that she’s slept with 19 men, thus significantly lowering her chances of getting married, she vows not to sleep with one more man until she’s sure he’s the one. One drunken bachelorette party later, and she’s slept with her ex-boss (played by McHale).

During her quest to seek out all her exes so she doesn’t have to go above 20, she meets her across-the-hall neighbour, Colin (Evans). And you can guess what happens next…

While I did enjoy the storyline, and I do love me some Faris and Evans, I was sorely disappointed in two aspects of the climax: that Ally clichély falls down when she runs out of her sister’s wedding to find Colin (see the Women Falling Down video for just how cliché this really is), and that after she’s slept with Colin she gets a phone call from one of her past lovers claiming they never slept together, just that she got really drunk, gave him a mediocre lapdance and handjob, and then passed out in the shower. So yay, right?! Ally’s back to 20 and a) will get married, and b) isn’t a whore!

I particularly liked it, though, when the guy Ally dumps Colin for—her high school sweetheart-turned-big time philanthropist, Jake—discovers she didn’t lose her virginity to him in high school, straying when he was out of town. He says, “Big deal. So you’ve only slept with two guys in your life.” I laughed out loud at this point. I’m not sure how old Ally is meant to be (considering she says she didn’t go to her high school reunion at the beginning of the movie, my guess is she’s around 30), but Jake—or any guy, for that matter—is deluded if they think a 30-year-old woman is going to remain celibate from her first sexual encounter in high school til she meets her husband later in life. Sure, there are some women who this is true for, but it’s the exception, not the norm.

Jake then proceeds to judge Ally on how many people she’s slept with, evening saying “Eww!”

On the other hand, Colin in the embodiment of a modern man. He couldn’t care less how many people Ally’s slept with, just as long as she sleeps with him, I suppose! But really, who does care? Why is your “number” so important?

*Blanket spoiler alert.

Related: Easy A Review.

In Defence of Rachel Berry.

Elsewhere: [YouTube] Women Falling Down in Romantic Comedies.

Image via FanPix.

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