Rating: 3 out of 5
Over the weekend, I saw “What’s Your Number?,” a movie based on Karyn Bosnak’s 2006 novel 20 Times a Lady. It stars Anna Faris (“The House Bunny,” the “Scary Movie” franchise) as Ally Darling, who reads in a magazine that the national average of sex partners for a woman is 10.5–almost half of her own record of 19.
The magazine also claims that women with over 20 partners usually never marry, so Ally’s determined to not sleep with anybody else until she’s found ‘The One.’ She decides the best way to do this is to revisit her 19 exes and see whether they’ve become husband material.
She enlists the help of Colin, played by Chris Evans (“Fantastic 4,” “Captain America”). Colin is her commitment-phobe neighbor who hides in her apartment whenever he needs to escape the morning after his one-night-stands. Using his father’s detective skills, he helps Ally track down her exes–of course, falling in love with her in the process.
Unsurprisingly, this movie was cliched, predictable, and often unrealistic. I knew that going in, so I can’t complain. This movie was definitely better than Faris’ “The House Bunny” and “Scary Movies,” but I understand that’s not saying much. I still find Faris funny, because even though the situations she gets into are downright embarrassing, she comes off witty and relatable.
Of course, the gratuitous shots of Chris Evan’s pecs and biceps make it easier to excuse this chick flick’s faults!
But what I liked most about this film is the conversation it sparks regarding society’s views on sex and the double standard between men and women who play the field. From what I’ve heard, the book it’s based on is partly autobiographical, and Bosnak was turned down many times for writing about a single woman with an above average number of notches on her bedpost.
Many publishers wanted the author to round the number down to 10 ‘boyfriends,’ as if the score was bad enough, but how she got there was even worse. I laughed at this trivial worrying, since the gals on “Sex and the City” easily rank into the dozens–and in Samantha’s case, hundreds. And they still manage to be role models to millions of female fans.
But I also cringed, because no one would even bat an eye over a man with 19 lovers. This notion that promiscuous men are ‘studs’ and women are ‘sluts’ needs to stop. As long as you’re being safe and are happy with your decisions, no one should shame you for your number.
Overall, the movie was funny yet forgetable, but the message was worth it: Be proud of who you are, and don’t waste your time with people who can’t be proud of you too.