“The 40 Year Old Virgin” is the coming out party for Judd Apatow after working on under-appreciated shows “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” and hanging in the folds of Hollywood as a writer with credits ranging from “The Larry Sanders Show” to “Celtic Pride”, okay, the latter maybe not such a good highlight. Teaming up with the relatively unknown Steve Carell and other up-and-comers Seth Rogen and the long overdue Paul Rudd, Apatow delivers a comedic film with a romantic underbelly.
Why you’ll like this:
Great story with a good message; lots of guy-humor (but not schticky)
Steve Carell plays Andy, and he has a secret: he’s a virgin. His bigger issue seems to be that he’s a nerdy loner who lives his life inside his geeked out apartment. All that is destined to change after he starts getting in good with his coworkers and over a poker game they discover his virgin secret and soon everyone in the company has their advice on how Andy can get a little action, but Andy is trying to balance his new found friendships with holding out for that special someone.
This film took me by surprise with the balance of genuine characters blended with a high degree of vulgar guy humor. The jokes run quickly with lots of guy-banter, particularly when Rudd and Rogen start hammering each other with gay jokes using their honed improv skills and will be used by unevolved men all over America. Carell delivers a high degree of comedy himself, not only in teeing up jokes for the other players but by his innocent nature in both guy-culture and on the dating scene.
I loved that the moral of the story wasn’t that Andy was missing out on sex, but that his friends were able to learn something from him in that he had something worth saving for the right person at the right time. In our culture virginity is often a dirty word that is looked down upon, so tackling that subject with comedy and revealing the romanticism behind the anxiety of it is a welcome turn when delivered with such a thorough examination of those who are living diametrically opposites sides of the lifestyle.
Why you won’t like this:
Immature/foul jokes (read: crude sex talk); not National Lampoon’s style humor
This work alone has earned heapings of praise to Judd Apatow and launched actors Carell, Rogen and some others into the limelight. Apatow’s crew is sure to be around for a while, hopefully he’ll continue to innovate and never lose his dramatic touch. Either way, this has quickly become one of my absolute favorite comedies, so much so that when I think of movies I’d take on my deserted island, this would certainly be one of the ones I had to have, because it’s rewatchable and covers a deep array of characters and topics. If you like comedies without over the top antics, where laughs are derived from seasoned pros delivering a line with a straight face then this is for you, you’ll come for the laughs and stay for the story.
5 out of 5 stars
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks
Director: Judd Apatow
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Running Time: 1 hr. 56 min.
Release Date: August 19, 2005