*Likely to be shown in Dante’s Ninth Rung of Hell should Satan believe that someone might be having an unexpected good time.
I like Anna Faris, which is precisely the reason that it pains me to say that What’s Your Number? rivals Cameron Diaz’s Bad Teacher as the worse movie of the year. Both are historic in nature, given that they are alleged to be comedies despite the fact they both are startlingly devoid of any semblance of humor.
It is not an exaggeration to say that there is not a scene, and I mean not ONE, that will likely produce anything resembling laughter in the audience. I clearly should have seen this coming, as its insulting premise that a 30-something single woman must engage in a desperate act to find a husband because that is the only possible way of finding fulfillment in this life should have sent up enough red flags to keep any semi-sane person out of the theater.
But no, not me, as I decided to give Ms. Faris the benefit of the doubt. I was really hoping that she could use her considerable caustic comedic talents to hopefully turn what appeared to be likely artistic “shit” into some type of “Shinola”. But in case you have missed my feelings about this film, I was wrong in every respect.
As painful as it is, let’s briefly revisit the premise of this disaster. How can Hollywood in this day and age continue to try to peddle this woeful depiction of young women in a post-feminist world? While Catherine Heigl’s 27 Dresses (2008) preached the same nonsense, at least it did so while allowing Ms. Heigl a bit of dignity, as little as it was.
Here Ms. Faris is little more than a boozy, lightweight loser with no apparent ambition and less charm who finds herself in her mid-30's trying to indiscriminately bang her way into finding true love. No, having multiple sexual partners throughout life does not in any way make someone a lesser person, it’s just that you get the impression that Ms. Faris’s character has always been one since birth.
While it is quite clear that this irksome film is trying to capitalize on the success of this year’s standout Bridesmaids, particularly given the fact that the plot centers around Faris’s sister’s impending wedding, the two movies have nothing else in common. Well, I should qualify that statement by saying that they do have one other thing in common, namely the two most embarrassing toasts by a maid of honor at a pre-wedding party in the history of film. That was the clear low point of Bridesmaids, although it is truly impossible to point out the low point of this cinematic monstrosity.
What’s Your Number’s? descent into a bottomless sinkhole is accelerated by the treatment of Chris Evans as Ms. Faris’s incredibly buffed and completely narcissistic next door neighbor. When she reads in some Cosmopolitan-type magazine that one more sexual partner will doom her to a perpetual state of unhappiness as a single woman, he is enlisted to help her to revisit old “close” boyfriends to see if one could be “yours truly”.
While you know where this miserable movie is heading right from the beginning, Evans appearing in a state of almost complete nudity at every turn is so pandering to females in the audience that you have to resist the urge to scream and run from the theater. And while I should just stop here, let me also say that there is not one character in this film that is anything more than a one-dimensional, regrettable caricature of hopeless, pathetic dysfunction.
You have betrayed me, Anna Faris, despite the fact that I instantly fell in love with you after viewing your spunky performance in The House Bunny (2008). I treasure that God-awful moment in the spastic Observe and Report (2009), where we last saw your intoxicated ditzy nail salon clerk passed out in bed, a bit of vomit on your chin, with an exuberant, bipolar Seth Rogen pounding away on top of you with a joyful lack of concern. Who but you would dare go there?
Sadly, however, Ms. Faris has morphed into a female version of Owen Wilson where she or her agent has made the fatal mistake of thinking that playing a character that is the functional equivalent of a likeable doofus will, standing alone, be automatically funny. With all due respect to his role in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, Wilson has been running on fumes for some time, and Ms. Faris is dangling over that same precipice.
Come back, Anna Faris, come back.