The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005)
Review Date: August 22, 2005
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Judd Apatow, Steve Carell
Producers: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Clayton Townsend
Steve Carell as Andy
Catherine Keener as Trish
Paul Rudd as David
A 40-year old nerd who likes to collect toy figurines and play lots of videogames, has never been laid in his life and is suddenly taken to task on this fact, when a few of his so-called “women expert” buddies at work, find out about it. They attempt to teach the poor lad the “ways to the ladies”, but inevitably end up mucking him up even more. Until, that is, he meets a woman of his liking whom he starts to date. But will he ever be able to hit that poon and admit his sad truth to her? Not sure, but plenty of sex jokes ensue.
So why can’t they make more of these R-rated comedies? That’s right, I’m talking to you, Hollywood! Believe it or not, there are people out there, over the age of 17, who actually want to laugh and appreciate “adult humor”, without having to suffer through 20-somethings acting like teens, having sex in their undies and making sure to only use the word “fuck” once, lest they end up with anything over a PG-13 rating. This movie is a refreshing change from the norm, with adults acting like adults, talking like adults and yeah…behaving like idiots…as adults! It’s a frank comedy that doesn’t mind taking shots at many taboos, especially those related to sex and the oversexualized society in which we live today. The film is centered around one man, a virgin, portrayed bravely and very humorously by the underrated Steve Carell. Carell holds the film together with his doe-like innocent eyes and attitude, but even moreso, with his grand humor, his courage to look stupid and ultimately, his humanity. That’s right, we’re talking about a damn raunchy comedy that doesn’t just toss dick and fart jokes at you at 100 mph, it also gives you a little bit of heart and caring for the dude, who ultimately, is really just a nice nerd who got lost in the sexual shuffle of life (join the club, dude). Any great comedy requires more than an interesting plot, laughs and an appealing lead character though, it’s also made greater by a strong supporting cast, and most of the guys here are also very good, despite them not necessarily gelling as a group (it didn’t feel like they were “real” friends).
I also liked the film’s ability to continually crank out new jokes and situations, despite it essentially being a one-joke movie – although that did make it feel a little bit like a sketch-movie, with a lack of engaging storyline keeping me entirely in the game. Finally, even though the film’s laughs played consistently for me from the first frame, close to the end of the movie, it just went on for too long (two hours is way too long for a film of this premise), with the film’s final half hour feeling a little tired, particularly the “shouting stuff” between Carell and Keener, which felt a little too fake for me. In fact, even though I’m generally a huge fan of the Keener, I didn’t think she worked all that well here, with her acting seemingly limited, and a lack of chemistry with Carell. All that said, you’re not going to watch this film because you believe it will rank right up there with CASABLANCA, you’re going to see it because you want sex jokes, taboo topics rubbed into your face and tons of nudity (sadly, there’s only one nipple shot in the whole thing…what happened??). See it today and pretend that the virgin jokes aren’t so funny because they ring so true to your own experience. As for me, I’m gonna attempt to use some of their advice for my own shit and go “tackle some drunk bitches”. Hey, if it works in the movies…it must work in real life…right, right?!?
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian