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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

What's Your Number?

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Though it possesses all the accoutrements of the genre observed to the limit of luxe, "What's Your Number?" (Fox) nonetheless comes across as romantic comedy's slatternly, potty-mouthed cousin.

Working from Karyn Bosnak's novel "20 Times a Lady," director Mark Mylod and screenwriters Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden attempt to mine laughs from sexual promiscuity and a central character who is far too coarse and self-centered to win sympathy.

Anna Faris plays Ally Darling, a recently fired Boston marketer with a looming family obligation at the wedding of sister Daisy (Ari Graynor).

While evaluating the personal and professional wreck that is her life, Ally learns from a magazine article that the average contemporary woman has 10.5 sexual partners before marriage, and that those with 20 or more are doomed to embittered singlehood.

Ally proceeds to tote up her own bedroom tally, and is horrified—for all the wrong reasons—to discover that she's up to 19. Worse yet, a drunken encounter with her former boss, Roger (Joel McHale), soon rounds her total off at the dreaded 20.

What's a trollop to do? Enlist the help of her equally promiscuous neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) to track down the earlier 19 so she can see whether any of them now qualify as marriage material.

Colin's father was a police detective, which—according to the script at least—gives Colin himself keen tracing skills, and the ultimate prize on the list of bumblers and losers (not to mention the inevitable gay guy) turns out to be super-rich Jake (Dave Annable).

While it's obvious from the start that Colin is Ally's perfect mate, she nonetheless slogs blindly ahead on her quest to select Mr. Right out of the motley collection of Messrs. Right Now with whom she's been up close and personal. The results are decidedly mixed and wholly predictable, as each re-encounter goes horribly wrong.

Too bad none of these fellows has the courage to tell her that they may have rejected her for being both sexually lax and obnoxiously vulgar.

The film contains acceptance of casual sex, fleeting upper female and rear nudity, a few uses of profanity, pervasive rough and crude language and frequent sexual references. The Catholic News Service classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R —restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

*****
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.



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Anthony Claret: The "spiritual father of Cuba" was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen’s chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris and to the First Vatican Council. 
<p>In his spare time as weaver and designer in the textile mills of Barcelona, he learned Latin and printing: The future priest and publisher was preparing. Ordained at 28, he was prevented by ill health from entering religious life as a Carthusian or as a Jesuit, but went on to become one of Spain’s most popular preachers. </p><p>He spent 10 years giving popular missions and retreats, always placing great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her rosary, it was said, was never out of his hand. At 42, beginning with five young priests, he founded a religious institute of missionaries, known today as the Claretians. </p><p>He was appointed to head the much-neglected archdiocese of Santiago in Cuba. He began its reform by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions, and suffered bitter opposition mainly for opposing concubinage and giving instruction to black slaves. A hired assassin (whose release from prison Anthony had obtained) slashed open his face and wrist. Anthony succeeded in getting the would-be assassin’s death sentence commuted to a prison term. His solution for the misery of Cubans was family-owned farms producing a variety of foods for the family’s own needs and for the market. This invited the enmity of the vested interests who wanted everyone to work on a single cash crop—sugar. Besides all his religious writings are two books he wrote in Cuba: <i>Reflections on Agriculture</i> and <i>Country Delights</i>. </p><p>He was recalled to Spain for a job he did not relish—being chaplain for the queen. He went on three conditions: He would reside away from the palace, he would come only to hear the queen’s confession and instruct the children and he would be exempt from court functions. In the revolution of 1868, he fled with the queen’s party to Paris, where he preached to the Spanish colony. </p><p>All his life Anthony was interested in the Catholic press. He founded the Religious Publishing House, a major Catholic publishing venture in Spain, and wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets. </p><p>At Vatican I, where he was a staunch defender of the doctrine of infallibility, he won the admiration of his fellow bishops. Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore remarked of him, "There goes a true saint." At the age of 63, he died in exile near the border of Spain.</p> American Catholic Blog The greatest tragedy of our world is that men do not know, really know, that God loves them. Some believe it in a shadowy sort of way. If they were to really think about it they would soon realize that their belief in God’s love for them is very remote and abstract. Because of this lack of realization of God’s love for them, men do not know how to love God back. —Catherine de Hueck Doherty

 
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