The line comes from one of my daughter's then tween-aged soccer teammates who used it a time too often when challenged on some dubious statement she made. Ever since, if we assert something that we know may not hold water, members of my family back it up with, "I read it in a magazine."
"What's Your Number?" (2011) is based, implausibly, on something supposedly read in a magazine. Ally Darling (Anna Faris) sees an women's magazine article saying a woman who has had sex with 20 or more men is unlikely ever to get married. Something to do with poor self-esteem. After totting up her conquests (not that a woman refers to them that way), Ally realizes she's already hit 19. So begins a quest to recheck her past bedmates to see whether any of them is marriageable. Her marital clock is ticking, especially since her younger sister is readying happily to tie the knot.
The concept that a supposedly intelligent woman like Ally would find it necessary to go on this quest is silly enough. To add to the silliness, she seeks help from the despised serial womanizer Colin across the hall in her apartment building. Surely you see where this is going. I did, but I was charmed all the same. I won't say that either Faris or Chris Evans (as Colin Shea) is a terrific actor, but when they are together, they make the unreal feel more natural. You can feel the characters grow to like each other and, oddly, we like them better too, despite the oddities they go through. I must admit, however, even I found my credulity taxed by watching them play HORSE in Boston Garden in their underwear.
In fact, both leads are in minimal clothing on maximum occasions, which is kind of a plus. If the visuals aren't enough, there are some enjoyable, rather clever writing bits ... though perhaps they are maybe not quite as clever as they seemed at the time. These include Ally's thumbnail description of the perfect girl (as she thinks Colin sees her) and the wedding near the end where small children run around shouting the four-letter word they learned when Ally fell off a fence.
Does this film really deserve four stars? Perhaps not, but I was engaged enough to consider watching it over right away. (It's better than the trailer. Honest.) And not because of the acres of epidermis on display. I was charmed, but I finally decided to send it back to Netflix so I could get another silly film. And though these romantic comedies may not generally win Academy Awards, they are important for helping understand and improve the social and romantic interactions of men and women. I know that, because I read it in a magazine.