The Theology Behind – What’s Your Number?

Posted: October 13, 2011 by jperritt in Comedy, Rom-com [romantic comedy]
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(NOTE: This post was initially scheduled to coincide with the release of the film, which was two weeks ago, however, I bumped it to better accommodate our excellent guest blogger, Brian Godawa.  I know, it was pretty thoughtful.)

At Reel Thinking we typically try to do a Thursday and Friday post on a popular release for the weekend, so why did we pick What’s Your Number?  I don’t know.  Well, I do know but it’s not because we think it’s going to be a hit.  For starters, What’s Your Number? is somewhat of a mixing of genres. It sounds like a rom-com (a.k.a. Romantic Comedy), but it adds some over-sexualized humor to increase appeal to the male demographic. Rom-coms are typically described by women as ‘cute’ or ‘fun’, but the attempt to appeal to men makes it less ‘cute’ and ‘fun’, which means less women will be likely to see it.

All of this to say, while some of the supporting cast is strong, we don’t think this film will do well at the box office.  Then why is RT doing a blog post about it?  Because rom-coms always have such a horrific worldview of love, giving us great material to bash on the blogosphere.  And a film like, What’s Your Number?, adds an extra level of horrible theology which is like lobbing us a softball to smack over the fence.

Now, please understand that we, at Reel Thinking, don’t take pleasure in bashing a film for simply having improper theology. What we do strive for is bringing the truth to light, and the truth is, rom-coms make an awful mockery of God’s design of love. This poisons the minds of every human, especially women, with a very self-centered, unrealistic view of love.

What’s Your Number? follows the story of Ally Darling (Anna Faris) searching for her true love.  As Ally is having a ladies night out, one of her friends shares a statistic, which states, “In America 96% of women who have been with 20 or more guys can’t find a husband.”  This causes Ally to panic, because she has “been with 20 or more guys.”  She then makes the noble and biblical (sarcasm) proclamation, “I’m not going to sleep with one more guy until I’m sure he’s the one.”

The infinitely stupid ideals this film teaches about love and sex are endless.  Becoming one with another person is something God created for the context of marriage (there’s no debating this).  However, Ally has become one with (at least) 20 other men and then separated herself from those men.  As mentioned, she then exclaims that she will not sleep with another man until she knows he’s ‘the one’, which I’m sure she assumed some of the previous twenty were ‘the one’ as well.  This gets Ally to thinking, “Is it possible that all my exes got better over time?”

In Ally’s search for the one, instead of moving forward, she looks to the past.  Her wisdom informs her that she quite possibly missed the one, so she starts searching for all her ex-lovers assuming that she missed out on her true love.  Ally turns the plot in this direction to find the one, which is the direction this blog post will take on this movie.

Is it possible to miss out on being with our one true love?  Could it be that a boyfriend or a girlfriend from the past was actually the one you were supposed to marry?  There is no doubt, many people have had these thoughts or there wouldn’t be a movie exploring this idea.

Today we simply wanted to present the plot of What’s Your Number?, and raise some questions we hope to answer in tomorrow’s post.  If you’re in the midst of searching for your one true love or think you may have married the second best, be sure and check back tomorrow as we consider this line of thinking through the lens of Scripture.


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