Anna Faris is an extremely talented comedienne. There's no denying that. Ever since her early appearances in the "Scary Movie" franchise, she's shone, even with material that's generally far beneath her. But every time it looks like she's heading for the A-list -- the surprise success of "The House Bunny," for instance, or demonstrating her range in "Brokeback Mountain" -- the next few projects tank, and she's reduced to playing straight woman to talking CGI animals in "Yogi Bear."
The twists and turns of the actress's career was the subject of a recent New Yorker profile which we covered in some depth, and much of it focused on her latest star vehicle, 20th Century Fox's upcoming "What's Your Number," a romantic comedy in which Faris plays a woman who, when she discovers that she's bedded more than the national average of partners, decides she's going to track down her exes, in the hope that one of them was the one who got away, enlisting the help of her promiscuous neighbor (Chris Evans). An international trailer for the film has landed, via Coming Soon, providing our first look at the project: could this be the film that finally cements Faris' position on the A list?
Hmm. 'Number' looks a couple of steps up the ladder from some of the more dismal rom-coms on the way, like the imminent "Something Borrowed," and the trailer doesn't hesitate in showing off its biggest selling point, in the form of its extremely impressive supporting cast. Aside from Faris, who seems on typically Goldie Hawn-esque form, and Evans, we also glimpse the eclectic mix of names playing her exes, including Faris' real life husband, "Parks and Recreation" star Chris Pratt, "Saturday Night Live" star Andy Samberg, Joel McHale of "Community," omnipresent comic Thomas Lennon, "Star Trek" headliner Zachary Quinto (stuck with almost the exact same bit that Jon Hamm gets in the "Bridesmaids" trailer, to decidedly diminishing returns), as well as a couple of names that had been kept under wraps until now: soon-to-be-Bilbo Martin Freeman, and the great Anthony Mackie, from "The Hurt Locker" and "The Adjustment Bureau."
Unfortunately, there's not a lot here that lands -- we giggled a bit at the stuff with Faris and Freeman, but it looks a bit rote otherwise, and clearly walks through the sitcom beat sheet without deviating from formula. And director Mark Mylod's background in TV (he helmed two dozen episodes of "Entourage") is pretty evident: quite frankly, it looks like shit, production value wise, and might as well be airing in half-hour chunks after new episodes of "Cougar Town." Still, it wouldn't be the first ugly comedy to be funny, and it's worth bearing in mind that the film will have an R-rating -- so there could be a killer red-band trailer waiting around the corner. The film hits theaters on September 30th.