Sunday, October 2, 2011

What’s Your Number?

You know what my biggest problem with romantic comedies is?  It isn’t that they all follow virtually the same exact scenario (meet, love, fight, love, end), it’s that they all insult our intelligence on the most rudimentary of practices.

Take, for instance, the basic understanding of time, a principle What’s Your Number? disregards regularly.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In What’s Your Number?, Anna Farris plays Ally Darling (awful name), who, after being dumped and fired, proclaims that she will not sleep with another guy until she’s sure she’s met “the one” (a proclamation she keeps for roughly three hours, but oh well.)  To keep the number of her sexual partners unmoving, she decides to hunt down her exes and wed one of them instead of  putting in work with a new guy.  But because she doesn’t know how to use Facebook or Twitter, she hires her manwhore neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans) to help her.

So about that whole time thing.  In one extended sequence, Colin gives Ally information about an ex that currently works on the Hill in DC.  Ally travels by train from Boston (the movie takes place there, despite the fact that no one speaks with an accent) to DC.  Once there, she quickly runs into her ex, who puts her up in a nice hotel.  Later, the ex delivers a very small, very stylish red dress to Ally’s hotel room, which she dutifully wears to a lavish event that evening.  Things go wrong and suddenly we cut to Ally walking up her apartment stairs, still in the red dress, giving Colin a play-by-play of the night’s faults. 

Now, let’s say this event in DC started around… 8 p.m. (the weather is warm and it is clearly night time).  Maybe they’re at the event for… 30 minutes before everything falls apart.  Ally takes a cab to her hotel, packs, and gets to the train station by, oh, 9:30.  She’d be on the train for at least six hours, probably longer.  3:30 a.m.  She gets a cab from the train station to her apartment, where it is most likely upwards of 4 a.m.  So, at 4 a.m., not only is Colin awake, standing outside his door, hanging on Ally’s every word, but Ally is still wearing the tight red dress that she bitched about all night.  Did she change?  Nope.  Is she tired?  Nope!  Oh and did I mentioned that after Ally gets back, the two order a pizza, spilt eight beers, sneak into the TD Garden (where the Celtics play), play two games of basketball and go skinny dipping in the river, all before sunrise?  That’s a lot in an hour and a half.

I’m probably being too nitpicky, I just can’t help but take notice in such gapping plot holes.  Who knows, maybe you’re willing to overlook that flexible notion of time and enjoy yourself.  Well, how enjoyable is it to watch a late-twentysomething lose her job but still be able to afford her massive city loft, and pay for all these dates with her exes?  Shouldn’t Ally be looking for a job?  Shouldn’t her family and friends encourage her to stop bitching and get paid?  Better question: should I even give a shit?  No, and neither should you.  D-


  1. Ok I have to ask. Why did you even see this anyway?

  2. Ha, fair enough. The easy answer is because I have a girlfriend that I'd like to keep cinematically pleased. Given the Bergman and Herzog and Haneke I force feed her (which she almost always loves), I try to adhere to what she wants to see too.

    Best part: she hated this flick more than I did. Awful, just awful.

  3. I think the biggest problem with the rom-com is the following of 'virtually the same exact scenario'. These films are so dumb and so predictable, they make the most conventional of slasher films look unpredictable and highly intelligent. That said, if they make you laugh, rubbish plots and lack of understanding of time can be forgiven and Anna Faris is a talented lady. Shame she hasn't truly got to show it yet.

  4. Hey man, I totally agree. I think Anna Faris is great, I just wish she was given more opportunities to flex what many of us suspect she has. We've seen hints of it, but crap like this is becoming unacceptable.

  5. Well let's see how she fairs up against Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator!