Film Reviews

THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

By • Aug 19th, 2005 •

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Universal Pictures / An Apatow production / MPAA rating R / Running time: 115 minutes

QUOTE: Sweet, raunchy, and very, very funny.

My recent group trek to Tibet included a 42-year-old virgin who said he has never had a girlfriend; a man who hadn’t had sex in seven years; and a 47-year-old Canadian career woman who hadn’t had sex for four years.

The 42-year-old virgin is handsome, neat, considerate, shy, and serious. He has a very good job. He has admirable hobbies. He was kind. He didn’t admit to collecting action figures but he closely resembled Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell).

Why are there 40-year-old virgins? I know. There are men like Jude Law and David Beckham who are psychic sex vampires using up the sex energy of other, less fortunate, men. I have developed a Spell, Potion & Talisman for these luckless men whose sex energy is being psychically sucked from them. You can inquire by emailing me.

Andy is the kind of guy you instinctively think fits the serial killer profile. In fact, one of his co-workers tells him so. Andy works at an electronics superstore, in the back stamping invoices. When he is forced to admit – in an hysterical scene – to his three co-workers, Jay (Romany Malco), David (Paul Rudd), and Cal (Seth Rogen),that he is a virgin, they decide to use their vast skill and expertise with women to break his life-long losing streak.

When his sexually starved boss, Paula (Jane Lynch), puts him to work dealing with customers, Andy meets sweet Trish (Catherine Keener), a woman in her forties with a teenage daughter. Trish doesn’t realize Andy is a virgin but agrees to his terms: dating but no sex for a very long time.

While the hair-removal scene is getting the most publicity, my favorite scene is the one where David and Cal go through a routine, ‘I knew you were gay because?’. As Trish starts to change Andy by selling off his prized collection of action figures, he finally challenges her in an angry moment. You want to shout, ‘Hey, leave him alone. He’s a sweet guy with a harmless fixation!’ Carell hits the right tone and, in an R-rated comedy such as this, brings to his character a poignancy that is quite charming. Carell has done the impossible: He has fashioned himself a 40-year old star with a huge hit.

The screenplay by director Judd Apatow and star Steve Carell is funny, sweet, and insightful. At first I thought Andy’s three buddies were not very interesting, but each is given fine comedic moments. They won me over. All the supporting actors, even the two angry older gentlemen who work at the electronics store, are terrific. This is not the best role for Keener who does not do well with broad comedy or playing the ‘girlfriend.’ Lynch is fabulous and so are Elizabeth Banks and Leslie Mann as the women involved with Andy. I know the title says it all, but this shouldn’t keep anyone away. It is as raunchy and funny as THE WEDDING CRASHERS. Let’s all hail the return of the R rated comedy. Now, how about the R rated James Bond?


Cast:
Andy: Steve Carell
Trish: Catherine Keener
David: Paul Rudd
Jay: Romany Malco
Cal: Seth Rogen
Beth: Elizabeth Banks
Nicky: Leslie Mann

Credits:
Director: Judd Apatow
Screenwriters: Judd Apatow & Steve Carell
Producers: Judd Apatow, Clayton Townsend, Shauna Robertson
Executive producers: Steve Carell, Jon Poll
Director of photography: Jack Green
Production designer: Jackson DeGovia
Music: Lyle Workman
Co-producer: Seth Rogen
Costumes: Debra McGuire
Editor: Brent White

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