What's Your Number? - Preview Screening

I'm not sure if it's accurate to say, I was 'lucky' enough to get tickets to a pre-screening of the latest rom-com offering from Hollywood - but I'm a student again and the tickets were free, so who am I to complain.

I've got mixed feelings about this one. The opening joke was not just the same, but identical to Bridesmaids, and I kind of feel that Kirsten Wiig did it better than Anna Faris. So that immediately put me on the back foot. But there is good stuff here, with jokes based on (gasp) women and sex. It's about how many conquests you've had ladies. And shock horror, we're in for some gender stereotyping.

Party girl Ally played (albeit well) by Anna Farris is up to a "staggering" 19 and Marie-Claire in it's infinite judging glare has branded anyone racking up more than 20 notches on the bed post a ... well, insert your favrouite derrogatory insult here. Oh, but, not if you're a guy. No that's fine. In fact, it's hillarious. Which is why neighbour Colin] played by XMen's Chris Evans is allowed to casually rack up so many notches his bed has fallen apart. *sigh*  Don't worry, I've climbed down from my feminist high horse now, we can crack on with what happens.

Predicitability factor is sky high on this film, you know exactly what is going to happen (and who the heroine will end up with) within the opening seconds of the film. And the plot mooches on at a predicatable pace too. Not that, that is awful - that's kind of why people like romcoms. BUT, there are some moments of comedy gold here (using the good doctor Kermode's code that more than 6 laughs, then it's a comedy). There's a great gay-joke and a bit with a puppet which might just haunt me. More than a snigger, a genuine LOL.

BUT, the problem is Anna Faris, (and I'm not talking about her botched surgery), it's her character. There was an interesting article on the New Yorker (see http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2011/10/03/111003sh_shouts_kaling?currentPage=all) which talks about the role of women in comedies. And I see Anna's character falling squarely into the 'Klutz' model. She's gorgeous. Killer figure. Nice face. Who wants to see that. OF course the guy will fall in love with her - the audience is not blind. So what's stopping her from finding perfect love? THE number. That haunting figure of 19 which is going to 'ruin' her for marriage. Yawn.

To mirror Mindy's sentiment "I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. They’re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it."

And that's the problem, I felt like Faris and [name] probably sat in seperate trailors bitching about each other when they weren't on screen. Maybe even eating oderous garlic bread moments before the big kiss scene. For a rom com, the casting has to be key.

Still. If you're out on a girls night, this is not a bad choice. It's not as good as Bridesmaids - but it does follow that theme of trying to present women in a 'new' 1990s style ladette light. I guess the US didn't benefit from 'girl power' in the way brit pop did (the Word, Zoe Ball getting fired from Radio 1 for being hammered in Ibiza) so maybe it's a super risky concept?

Overal 3.5 out of 5 - nothing you don't expect, but some funny moments.

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