Anyone want to bet $20 that Chris Evans is the guy Anna Faris ends up with at the end of What’s Your Number? Well, you’d be right, and you’re not getting $20. Sorry.
You can take one look at a trailer and figure out Evans is the “it” guy, or maybe a cast list on IMDB. Surely she’s not hooking up with Ed Begley Jr. anyhow. Eww.
So why does Number exist? To give Anna Faris a movie to herself, something that will allow her to splurge her face all over the poster to become a comedic superstar. Except this isn’t it… and it was never going to be either.
For one, there’s a flimsy, garbage set up where Faris has slept with 20 guys in her lifetime, and thinks she’ll be too much of a slut to sleep with one more (?). She then tracks down her exes, each with their own quirks that put this slop on par with When In Rome, only to find out the one for her is the man whore next door. Awesome.
Secondly, there’s the break-up, right at 70-minute mark. It should have been earlier, but Number is about 15-minutes too long. Then, there’s the “realization,” right around 85-minutes or so, “The Run” at 90, and the make-up sex before the credits roll. How convenient.
Number doesn’t even have one wedding to end on. Oh no, it has multiples as Faris runs from her sisters special day, ends up at three conveniently multi-cultural weddings before finding the one Evans -super wedding rock star- is playing at. She discovered that because there just happened to be a list of all of the weddings in her area as a plot contrivance. That’s point three… and four really.
Maybe there’s some credit due to Number, with a couple of zippy one-liners, a Flash animated penis, and plenty of skin for both sides of the relationship coin. It has a comedic timing, and Faris is likeable as the dorky, bubbly blonde who makes horrific looking statues. Whatever Number throws out there, it’s not enough to salvage this soulless, predictable, and lifeless script. [xrr rating=2/5 label=Movie]
Fox’s AVC encode for What’s Your Number? reflects the blandness of the original photography, which is deadened, soft, and sort of fantastical. The focus here isn’t razor sharp images, just ones that make their point, present a story, and move on. Flashbacks, which switch to a mini 4×3 frame, are the closest things this film does to break from its droll looks.
There are moments where textural detail will succeed, a stray close-up here, random exterior there. That vividness comes more from strong dimensionality stemming from rich black levels, sometimes robbing a hint of shadow detail, and plentiful pop from the color saturation. Despite a lack of high fidelity detail, Number does its damnedest to be noticed.
A pleasing, lightly scattered grain structure doesn’t find itself amongst many faults, a spot of stray noise during a spike easily glossed over. Compression is beneficial to the transition to Blu-ray, not a hindrance. It’s a well-mannered and well-managed piece of work, even if the source material doesn’t want to comply with those same intentions.
Flesh tones veer warmly, as if Number wasn’t unoriginal enough as it is. Someone, somewhere thinks turning people orange generates more laughs or it wouldn’t happen as often as it does. For the record, burnt people do not make a movie funnier. At least there’s no teal to counter it. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]
There’s some life to the audio design at least, a pleasing cityscape established as Faris makes her first trip into work. The movie makes a transition from a quiet apartment into the bustling streets of Boston by bursting out the center channel and creating a true environment. Cars pass, people chatter, and horns honk. There’s a constant slate of ambiance offered, including bar interiors with overwhelmingly powerful low-end support.
Dialogue is kept firm, save for a conversation in a bar where the microphone seems to have picked up some stray scratching or clothes rubbing against it somehow. You can hear it as Faris chats at 17:30, clearing up once the camera pans away from her. It’s an oddity, nothing more.
There are few chances for stray effects, a dart game actually a bit of a winner as they hit the board clearly in the surrounds away from the characters. The effect is clean and precise, sparking a little life into an otherwise familiar bar scenario. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Audio]
This review is based on a rental exclusive which has no extras. [xrr rating=0/5 label=Extras]