See the trailer for the awful 2011 film, starring Jessica Alba.

We've all had that moment: Scrolling through streaming options on Netflix, you see a movie featuring familiar faces that you've never heard of and can't help but blurt out, "What is that?" (In reality, this may or may not contain profanity.) In "Netflix, what?" we actually watch those movies and let you know if it's worth the time.
 
Movie: “An Invisible Sign”
 
Year: 2010
 
Backstory: Twenty-something Mona Gray (Jessica Alba) uses numbers to deal with her father’s worsening mental illness. She lands a job as an elementary school math teacher, falls for a beautiful bearded man (Chris Messina of "The Mindy Project") and--spoiler alert--winds up with an ax in her leg.
 
Why it jumped out at me: Alba, who I'll watch in anything. I thought “An Invisible Sign” might be like a melodramatic sequel to “Honey,” substituting a math nerd for a dancer with perfect abs. Plus, the music in the "Sign" trailer is light and whimsical and soothing, which are totally descriptions we all associate with schoolwork and serious cognitive deterioration.
Highlights: Um, I didn’t hate looking at Messina. The film has one measly kissing scene, and just when things are getting steamy, Mona pulls away from Ben and locks herself in the bathroom to eat a bar of soap. What?
 
Was it worth 90 minutes of my time: N-O. “An Invisible Sign” will lead you into a dark hole of sadness and numbers and make your blood boil. It will cause you to yell at your screen, clench your fists and curse under your breath. Also, let it be known that Mona sports pigtails for 99.7 percent of the movie. If you thought Alba could make pigtails look good, this movie will prove you wrong.
 
Quote to use in everyday conversation: “Life is much, much harder than math.” Yes, Jessica Alba. It most certainly is.
 
mastone@tribune.com, @melaniealissa
 

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