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Film / What's Your Number?

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"Okay, I'm not going to sleep with one more guy until I'm sure he's the one. I may not have control over much, but I do have control over my pelvic floor. The next guy who vacations at Casa Esperanza is going to be my husband!"
Ally Darling

A 2011 rom com about Ally Darling (Anna Faris), who, after yet another sexual partner that didn't want anything 'serious', comes across an article in a women's magazine saying that the average number of sexual partners women have had is 10.5, and women who sleep with over 20 men never find a husband. Her number? 19! Actually, wait, make that 20.

Suddenly desperate, Ally and her playboy neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) begin their search to find one of the 20 who may be "The One", so she can make him her husband without reaching the dreaded 21.

Based on the novel 20 Times A Lady by Karyn Bosnak, which was later re-released with the title 'What's Your Number' to match the film.

Tropes employed by this series are:

  • Ambiguously Bi: Both Ally and Colin. One of Ally's exes is a FtM who Ally either dated or simply slept with pre-transition. Colin makes a joke about another of Ally's exes having a caboose (butt) worth relocating for.
  • Be Yourself: Ultimately the aesop of the film — Ally realizes at Daisy's wedding that true love will let you be yourself, which is why she ends up dumping Jake.
  • The Beard: Invoked by Ally's political ex, who wants her to become his beard for his political career.
    Tom Piper: America's ready for a black president, but they're not ready for a gay black president.
  • Beta Couple: Daisy and Eddie.
  • The Big Board: Zig-Zagged. It's played for laughs when Colin makes one as part of tracking down Ally's ex, but somewhat straighter when he reveals that he learned how to make one from his dad the cop.
  • Broken Aesop: After spending most of the movie building up the message that one's number wouldn't and shouldn't get in the way of finding the one, the final few seconds see Ally still celebrating like mad for having not gone above 20 after all.
  • Chekhov's Skill: A watered-down version with Ally and her clay sculptures. Hints are dropped throughout the film that she'd like to pursue it as a career but we never see said career materialize. The plot-important part of this skill is how it's viewed by the two main suitors (the more encouraging suitor of this career won out in the end).
  • Concert Climax: A variant. Ally interrupts a band performing at a wedding in order to declare her love for the lead singer, Colin. She is able to sneak on stage by pretending to be another band member and banging a tambourine.
  • Could Say It, But...: Daisy's groom says in his wedding vows that "I promise never to rhyme 'crazy' with 'Daisy.'"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Colin, at times.
  • Female Gaze: Colin spends a lot of time shirtless, and occasionally fully naked. Presumably they didn't want to let Chris Evans go to waste.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Ally and Daisy, respectively.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Ally's hinted to be living on savings after losing her job. Colin's case is never explained. Perhaps averted at the end if they were to move in together into Ally's apartment.
  • Handsome Lech: Colin. He picks up his newspaper with just a Modesty Bedsheet and hides out in Ally's apartment to avoid one of his one night stands.
  • Innocent Swearing: Ally shouts 'fuck' in front of a group of children, who then repeat the word in confusion. A scene or two later, they're seen running around and shouting 'fuckitty-fuck!'.
  • Kissing Cousins: Ally's step-cousin Bo is on her 'People I've Slept With' list.
  • Ladykiller in Love: According to the film, Colin is basically a functioning sex addict until he meets Ally, the first woman around his age he apparently developed a deeper connection with.
  • Like Father, Like Daughter: Ally's dad says she's more like him than her mother.
    "You may have her looks, but you've got my rhythm, kid. And I'm afraid it's a little offbeat."
  • Love Martyr: It's shown numerous times how hard Ally would try and change who she is for her partners, even going so far as faking a British accent for one, often for suitors who clearly didn't deserve such effort such as Rick. In the end she realizes that the man she should be with will allow her to be herself and not have to do this.
  • Morning Routine: Whenever Ally wakes up with a man she likes in her bed, she sneaks into the bathroom to brush her hair, put on mascara, and put a little toothpaste on her tongue before getting back into bed and pretending to have just woken up, so her partner won't think she's ugly in the morning.
  • New Old Flame: Invoking this trope is the whole premise of the film. In an effort to not let her sexual partner count go above twenty, Ally goes through her available exes in order to find one that's perfect for her, citing her sister Daisy's success with her husband (who was also New Old Flame).
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: After having a subtle epiphany during her toast at Daisy's wedding that not being completely herself in past relationships has caused them to not work out and subsequently breaking up with Jake, she gives one of these to her mother signalling she'll no longer chase her approval.
    "No, you were finally happy! I don't want to marry Jake Adams, that's not who I am."
  • The One That Got Away: Subverted with Jake, whom Ally thinks is this, but she comes to the realization that they aren't right for each other. Gerry Perry (played by Andy Samberg) seems to think Daisy was this.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Ally trying to retain her fake British accent while getting drunk on her date with Simon.
  • Really Gets Around: Ally, once she reads a magazine article about the typical number of partners and realizes she's way past that mark. Colin is far more promiscuous than she is, though, given the number of one night stands we see him have over the course of the movie.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Struggling musician Colin VS Jake.
  • Romantic False Lead: Jake Adams, Ally's ex from high school. He's handsome, charming, well-connected, runs a foundation in Africa, etc., and Ally's prim mother approves of their relationship wholeheartedly. She eventually breaks up with him because even though she considers him "perfect," they're not perfect for each other.
  • Rule of Three: Ally runs into her ex Donald three times, to his dismay.
  • Running Gag: See Rule of Three.
  • Scenery Censor: Colin. Among other things, a bannister and a guitar.
  • Sex Changes Everything: Ally freaks out shortly after sleeping with Colin (that is literally sleeping with him, they did not actually have sex, though they got damn close), as her friends and family don't approve of him. They have a bitter fight and temporary breakup, although they get better.
  • Shirtless Scene: Colin gets plenty of these, though he and Ally share one when they play strip Horse, not too surprising since it is Chris Evans.
  • Skinny Dipping: Colin and Ally do this in the Boston Harbor. Then they realize it was a stupid idea because the water is cold.
  • Slut-Shaming: A tad. Other characters clearly raise their eyebrows at Ally having slept with twenty guys.
  • The Unfavorite: Ally and Daisy's mother Ava shows disapproval of Ally much more often.
  • Title Drop: It drops the movie's title, with the article in Glamour titled "What's Your Number?" Also the novel's title: the song "20 Times a Lady" appears twice at different parts of the movie, and Ally appreciates its relevance to herself.
  • Totally Radical: Ally's father, who uses things like "LOL" in conversation and tweets about the most inane things.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Tom Piper, played by Anthony Mackie, is black and gay.
  • Wake Up Make Up: Parodied. See Morning Routine above.
  • Wedding Finale: The last 20 minutes of the film takes place at Ally's sister Daisy's wedding, as well as numerous other weddings throughout Boston.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Ally wants to find a boyfriend that'll make her mother happy. She eventually realizes that this isn't the right way to go about it.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Ally wakes up from a night of heavy drinking and partying to find, to her horror, her ex-boss pantsless in her bed, effectively making him her number 20. He's not because one of her past encounters calls her back and reveals that they didn't do anything because they were too drunk, so her ex-boss is #19 and Colin is actually #20.