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What's Your Number - Anna Faris and Chris EvansI’m not going to suggest “What’s Your Number?” is a great, or even good movie. It has a typical rom com plot gussied up with some Judd Apatow style barbs and some gratuitous shots of its almost naked stars, but it also has Anna Faris, and for me that’s enough. She has crack comic timing and an unpredictable way with a line that takes a Kathryn Heigl level script and turns it into something watchable.

Faris is Ally, a young Bostonian with a bad relationship track record. Weeks before her sister is due to tie the knot she reads a magazine article which suggests the number of sexual partners a woman has had will determine her romantic success later in life. More than twenty, it says, and you have virtually no hope of ever settling down. She does the math and realizes she’s in the danger zone. To prevent going over twenty partners she revisits all her ex-boyfriends in hopes of finding a husband.

“What’s Your Number?” is a strange movie that mixes and mingles both the standard old cell phone switcheroo plot device AND edgy rape jokes. It doesn’t have the laughs of an Apatow movie or the heart… but once again, I’ll say it, it has Anna Faris.

Faris is working hard here, playing against a script that casts her as the most clichéd of all rom com characters, a desperate woman on the hunt for a man. She’s a harlot with a past but her male next door neighbor (Chris Evans), who has hundreds of notches on his bedpost, is a charmer who simply hasn’t found the right woman yet. Just another example of how wrong headed the sexual politics of rom coms are, even in 2011.

A love scene with a puppet and Andy Samberg is a highlight and one of the things—did I mention Anna Faris?—that make this movie almost special. There are just enough funny scenes (and shots of co-star Evans’s abs) to almost make this an in-the-pocket rom com, but then the good stuff is followed by long stretches of by-the-book writing. It’s a shame to see this kind of potential wasted.

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