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The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

DVD Cover (Universal)
Director:
Judd Apatow Judd Apatow
Starring:
Steve Carell Steve Carell
Catherine Keener Catherine Keener
Paul Rudd Paul Rudd
Romany Malco Romany Malco
Seth Rogen Seth Rogen

7.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Sex Comedy
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: August 25, 2005
Good comedies are hard to come by these days. I can't think of the last time I sat down for a comedy and actually laughed consistently throughout. "Anchorman" was probably the last time that happened, and it was released well over a year ago. How fitting that the next comedy to cause such a reaction was written and directed by Judd Apatow, the gentleman who wrote the screenplay for "Anchorman". Apatow has a long history of success in comedy, serving as a writer for some of the most popular television shows of the time, including: "The Larry Sanders Show", "The Ben Stiller Show", and the acclaimed teenage drama "Freaks and Geeks". In short, Apatow is one of the new comedic geniuses in the movie business. His brand of comedy combines the gross-out humor of The Farrelly Brothers, the slapstick humor of the Zucker Brothers, and the more heartfelt comedy of Harold Ramis and Jonathan Lynn. Apatow has absorbed the best of all three and uses them to the best of his ability as both a writer and director. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" marks Apatow's directorial debut. If you were to visit a website like Rotten Tomatoes, you might be shocked to see that this film is currently over 90% positive on the Tomatometer. This is a rare for any film, much less a comedy. There is a reason for this. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is one of the absolute best comedies ever made, and is the best comedy to come around in many years. The last time I remember being this taken in my one would be with "Kingpin" from the mid-nineties. In short, this film was absolutely amazing.

Steve Carrell, who turned out to be the real star of "Anchorman", gives a performance to remember as Andy Stitzer. Andy is not what you would call a normal person. He is 40-years-old, works as the stock supervisor at Tech World, rides a bicycle everywhere he goes, and has amassed a rather impressive collection of figurines and memorabilia still in their original mint packaging. One of his co-workers, Cal (Seth Rogen), thinks Andy is a serial killer. However, when Andy is invited to a poker night, it is revealed that Andy is actually a virgin and has never had sexual intercourse. Cal, David (Paul Rudd), and Jay (Romany Malco) take it upon themselves to help Andy get laid, and do everything within their power to make this happen. Andy tries picking up drunk chicks, but this only ends in disaster. He tries speed dating, but gets absolutely nowhere. He even tries getting his body waxed to become more desirable -- I don't have to tell you how that turns out. Enter the owner of an E-Bay store, Trish (Catherine Kenner), who is automatically attracted to Andy. When he finally works up the nerve to ask her out, the two immediately strike a connection, with Andy struggling to reveal his sexual inadequacy. The film starts out as a comedy about a man seeking to lose his virginity and ends as a film about a man seeking to experience love. There is a subtle shift in the motives of the film, and it is rare when a film can take on such heart so very quickly.

What drives this film is both the chemistry between the actors and the string of comic bits that Apatow works to perfection. Don't be fooled by all of these glowing reviews the film is receiving -- this is a very graphic film. The first time we see Andy, he is walking through his apartment with a massive erection. We also see the entire body waxing procedure, a woman being satisfied by a shower head, a woman throwing up in a man's face, and various other gross-out gags that measure up there with anything the Farrelly Brothers threw at us in "There's Something About Mary". But, this is not the crux of the humor. The script here is quite intelligent and Apatow's humor is different from anyone else I have seen. In this film, the obvious is what is most funny. Apatow uses Steve Carrell to his advantage in that Carrell is a comedic genius -- he knows just how to take any word or any phrase and turn them into laugh-out-loud humor. He could make an obituary sound hilarious. Some of the best scenes involve Andy attempting to conceal his virginity, as when he is playing poker and must fumble his way through an obviously concocted story. There is another hilarious scene at a sex clinic, where Andy participates in a group discussion about sex with the daughter of his girlfriend. Will Ferrell could not have pulled something like this off. Jim Carrey could not have pulled something like this off. The film was tailor made for Steve Carrell and he really delivers. He is the most likable comedic lead I have seen in a long, long time -- possibly ever. We want him to do well. We root for him.

Though Steve Carrell's performance carries the film, the supporting actors are equally impressive. This film will absolutely turn Seth Rogen into a star, Apatow giving him some incredible words to manipulate. Paul Rudd delivers yet another impressive performance as the comedic sidekick. Rogen and Rudd share a very nice scene whilst playing a video game, with both of them analyzing why the other is a homosexual. Catherine Keener is beautiful and intelligent in every role she takes on, and this was a little of a departure for her. She usually sticks to the indie flicks and the more obscure material. She and Carrell have a natural chemistry that translates so wonderfully on screen. Leslie Mann and Elizabeth Banks also turn in some very quaint performances as two girls who do not end up busting Andy's cherry. Apatow obviously put a lot of thought into his cast for this film, and it paid off in a big way. These actors inhabit their characters and never let go. "Anchorman" was brilliant because of the cast, but it lacked very little heart. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" has both, and turns out eclipsing the former in a very big way. Look for Judd Apatow to have a long and successful career in Hollywood...especially now.

So, the rumors are true -- "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is one of the best films of the year. Steve Carrell delivers one of the truly great comedic performances of our time, and I would love to see something like this snag him an Oscar nomination, though it would never happen. The humor in this film is so honest and so true, and sometimes disgusting, but always with the character's best interests in mind. Nothing happens for the sake of happening -- it all has a place in Andy's story. The end of the film sums everything up best. Andy finally has sex and is lying in bed and, all of a sudden, the entire cast goes into a musical rendition of "Age of Aquarius". Where did that come from? Probably the same place as "Afternoon Delight" in "Anchorman". We don't care where it came from, we just want more of it. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is the best comedy of the year, and one of the best films I have seen all year. It will make you laugh in a big way, and it has so much likability and heart that you would consider it to be just another stupid comedy. Think "Groundhog Day". That kind of hear.

9.5/10.
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Ginose #1: Ginose - added 01/01/2006, 10:12 PM
I give this an 8/10... it was your typical comedy up untill the end.... This movie had the fuckin' STUPIDESS ending ever!
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 10/28/2007, 12:03 AM
This isn't a typical comedy at all, actually. Anchorman is your typical comedy. This is Anchorman with a real plot, more believable characters, and like Billy Ray said, a lot of heart. In case people haven't figure it out, I'm an Apatow and Rogen whore, so naturally anything they do I'll really enjoy.
Ginose #3: Ginose - added 10/28/2007, 12:48 AM
No, no... I put this as "typical" comedy. "Anchorman" was "fuckin' stupid" comedy. I loved the hell out of both of them, until (like I said) the ending of this one. I still don't much care for it. It jumped into "fuckin' stupid" too directly from "typical"... this pissed me off... hard.
Vash #4: Vash - added 10/28/2007, 03:00 AM
i saw this after two years of incessant praise and insurmountable hype... so obviously i was just a tad disappointed. im one of the three people in the world who doesnt actually think judd apatow is a genius [also, whats with all the praise for movies he just produced? sure he must have a hand in these, but jesus christ, give credit where it's due], so i was expecting to be let down a bit by the movie, but even then, it just is not what people are saying it is. i enjoyed it more than knocked up, but it's just... long. and the laughs don't come too frequently. maybe it's just me, but i usually rank my comedies based on how much i laugh, and i wasn't laughing that much. *shrug* maybe i don't "get" it.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 10/29/2007, 12:07 PM
Obviously not.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 10/29/2007, 12:09 PM
I have to concur with Tristan here. "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin" is not a typical comedy because it's not just a comedy. It has heart and subtle drama and actually cares a lot about its characters. "Anchorman" (which might be the funniest film I have ever seen, still) is a typical comedy because it functions solely to make the audience laugh. I love them both, but I think "Anchorman" is far more traditional.
Vash #7: Vash - added 04/21/2008, 01:26 PM
yeah, sucks when a comedy tries to make people laugh. that's unfortunate. they should make more movies like knocked up where you care so much about the characters that you want to punch them in the face, and not laugh for 45 minutes. that's comedy, right there.
C L #8: C L - added 04/24/2008, 01:30 AM
You know how I know you're gay? You out yourself in every other review. ;)
bluemeanie #9: bluemeanie - added 04/24/2008, 12:43 PM
How did I out myself in this review? I am confused.
Nirrad #10: Nirrad - added 04/25/2008, 02:12 PM
Haha, funny post. Clever actually. But about the movie. This is by far the best of all the Apatow related movies. They just progressively get worse from here, but the others are still good though.
Lucid Dreams #11: Lucid Dreams - added 07/12/2010, 01:11 AM
I enjoyed it, of course, but like of Apatow's movies it was too long. 8/10
Rest Easy Soul #12: Rest Easy Soul - added 07/25/2010, 11:00 AM
Steve can play only 1 character. That is Scott from the office. Scott from the Office does a great job in this movie. however this is the only movie I can say is good with Carrel.
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