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Not Down the Rabbit Hole

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I watch crap for attractive actors
Pear (default)
So I watched What's Your Number? because I just really like Chris Evans' adorable little face, okay?

Protip: Don't make my mistake.

I mean. I am biased against mainstream romance because yes, the story of the straight, white, middle class attractive people with no disabilities or major issues to speak of finally fucking each other is totally original and interesting and has loads of depth, but I am generally bored of them rather than offended by them.

But in this case? THE SLUT-SHAMING. OH MY GOD THE SLUT-SHAMING. Basically the premise of this movie rests on the main character deciding she's a dirty slut and can't ever sleep with another man because she's slept with A WHOLE 20 (and, I mean, picture this if it was about a guy) and she'll never find a husband if she goes over because a magazine article told her so.


On the one hand, the endgame love interest? Genuinely good character and good person. Also, surprise!Martin Freeman in the middle of the film? Awesome.

On the other hand: utterly unsympathetic main character and DID I MENTION THE SLUT-SHAMING? Because it's throughout the *whole* movie and the only person shown to be an arsehole for doing it is the final not-the-right-guy guy. When her 'friends' do it? Totally acceptable. Treated as a joke. And then they laugh at her for trying not to have sex with anyone else, so yay for subtle Madonna/whore reinforcement.

I mean, I feel like at some point someone might have said 'let's make an intelligent critique of slut-shaming culture'! And then everyone else went 'lol, no'. Because they even reinforce the idea in the final scene after she fucks her new love interest and then there's a phone call to say that she didn't actually sleep with one of the people she thought she slept with! Yay, he was only the 20th one and she's totally still okay to marry (and the fact that the love interest manages never to say this doesn't actually make it okay. He clearly thinks she's being an idiot about it but he's literally the only one and your boyfriend is not the only person in your life obliged to be a decent human being).


The point here is that basically this is the story of a woman with literally no critical thinking abilities who has to be told by men what she wants (in the end it's even her father who tells her it's okay to be herself, and *then* he decides that she really does want to fuck her neighbour after all. And then proceeds to forget that either of them own a mobile phone).

Just... blargh.

One thing I will say in its favour: it actually handles a withdrawal-of-consent moment really, really well and out of context, that is a great scene (also, hot).

I will just shut up now.

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I am so glad you posted this, because I had just put that movie in my Netflix queue for Chris Evans and Chris Evans only. Thanks for the warning. I will be sure to be drunk and have one finger on the fast forward button.

(I don't know what to make of Anna Faris. I know she gets plaudits for being one of those actress who aren't "afraid" to be funny-gross, instead of funny-neurotic, and the whole idea that this is somehow special is annoying. But I do find her onscreen persona to be so consistently coarse and stupid that it's not exactly empowering to watch her.

Yeah, you'll want to fast-forward through the train scene and the whole engagement party bit and honestly, if Chris Evans isn't on screen, the scene isn't worth the effort and you won't miss much.

(I... yeah. Basically, I am fine with women being portrayed that way because women are people and people are flawed, but I don't want to be asked to be sympathetic towards them. I would not be sympathetic towards a man who was similarly incapable of using his damned brain and I don't think the stupid-but-well-meaning girl thing is cute at all. I think it's disturbing.)

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