The Cinema of the Four
What's Your Number?
While my movie companion, Dr. Watson IV, is more apt to bring his wife along to the theater than desert me for same, as his great-grandfather often did to my great-grandfather, there is one particular occasion when I always find myself conducting my investigations alone: the romantic comedy.
One might find it ironic, that a Watson, known traditionally for being the more romantic of any Holmes-Watson pairing, should pass on romantic comedies, but it is my theory that having taken his fill of actual romance, the movies have a lesser impact upon him. At the same time, I, being the bastion of steely cold logic as we Holmeses are known for, am more susceptible to the powers of the romantic comedy. Or it could just be that one of the middle generations of Holmes and Watson families swapped genes at some 1940s key party, and I'm actually the true Watson and he the true Holmes.
Whatever the case, so it was that I found myself alone in the theater, gazing once more upon the beauty that is comic actress Anna Faris, known for the "Scary Movie" series, "The House Bunny," and an amazing bit part in "Lost in Translation." Her current movie, "What's Your Number?" is so chock-full of leading men and wedding-related humor that it definitely skews female in its topic, but contains enough scenes of the estimable Ms. Faris running about in scanty underthings (that are surely Parisian) and playing basketball in same that any red-blooded male will also find his interest being held for much of the movie.
The plot is simple: Anna's character, Ally Darling, has slept with twenty men and has read an article that says a woman who sleeps with twenty or more men will never find love. By finding a man to marry that she's already slept with, Ally hopes to keep her number locked at twenty somehow thwart the statistics. The premise is a bit silly, yes, but silly is what comedies do best, especially when Anna Faris is involved.
There are pratfalls, wide-eyed reaction shots, goofy accents, wild coincidences, and all those things that make for good, simple comedy. The sad moments (as every romantic comedy must have a sad moment where love seems lost) are punctuated with some of the funniest lines in the movie ("And stop f***ing your dog!") to ease the sting. Chris Evans is even funny walking around with his Captain America pumped-up frame, delicately wiping the corners of his mouth with the dish towel he was using to hide his man-parts. While not as strong as something like "The Hangover," "What's Your Number?" is still head-and-shoulders above most romantic comedies, though probably still not in Dr. Watson IV's area of interest.
However, for you Watson-lovers out there, this movie does hold one attraction: Martin Freeman makes an appearance as one of Ally's better ex-lovers, playing straight-man to Faris's goofing. For Trekkies, the movie has Zachary Quinto. For SNL fans, Andy Samberg. Afficianados of NBC sitcoms get Joel McHale and Aziz Ansari.
But for me, it shall always be about the Faris. We'll always have Faris.
What great-grandfather Sherlock might have said: