Movie Reviews

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 7 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Cast:
Steve Carell as Andy Stitzer
Catherine Keener as Trish
Paul Rudd as David
Romany Malco as Jay
Seth Rogen as Cal
Elizabeth Banks as Beth
Leslie Mann as Nicky
Jane Lynch as Paula
Gerry Bednob as Mooj
Shelley Malil as Haziz
Kat Dennings as Marla
Chelsea Smith as Julia
Jonah Hill as eBay Customer
Erica Vittina Phillips as Jill
Marika Dominczyk as Bernadette

Summary:
The 40-Year-Old Virgin features some funny jokes, a fantastic supporting cast, and it proves that Steve Carell can be a great leading man. However, the excessive sexual humor and profanity is a lot to take. If you're not OK with it, then don't bother with this film.

Story:
Andy Stitzer is a genuinely nice guy who collects action figures, is into comic books, and plays video games. Unfortunately, he has no real social life. So when his co-workers find out one evening over a game of poker that Andy is 40 and still a virgin, they make it their mission in life to find him a woman. This actually sounds easier than it is. Andy had a couple of traumatic sexual encounters as a young man and finds himself incredibly nervous at the prospect of having sex with a woman.

After several disastrous attempts to hook up with various women, Andy eventually finds Trish, the woman of his dreams. But what will happen when their relationship inevitably progresses to the next level?

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is rated R for pervasive sexual content, language and some drug use.

What Worked:
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is kind of two movies in one. The first half is a really, really raunchy guy movie filled with lots of language, sexual humor, and all sorts of perversion. The second half of the movie is a sweet romantic comedy that is fairly tame. Despite the two different styles, they end up working well together. I'm ashamed to say that I laughed at some of the raunchy stuff and I was also amused by the tamer stuff as well. There are a ton of great lines in this movie that you can count on being quoted well after the movie leaves theaters.

I was really expecting this movie to make fun of comic book geeks and virgins, but that wasn't really the case. Sure, there is some lighthearted jesting, but I never felt that the jokes were malicious. If the jokes weren't sympathetic to these folks, then they were jokes they were making about themselves. (Like how toy collectors are obsessed with keeping toys mint in the package.) The movie also ends up having a message about how obsession with sex can ruin a relationship and how waiting, even for 40 years, can be worth it for someone you love. So in the end the 40-year-old virgins come out looking pretty good despite being the butt of the joke in the movie.

Steve Carell really proves that he's leading man material as Andy Stitzer. In the same way that Will Ferrell was a lovable buffoon in Elf, Carell is a lovable geek in this movie. Carell makes Andy geeky without ever being an idiot and sympathetic without ever making him pathetic. He also provides a scene that will probably go down in cinematic history. Carell gets his wolfman-like chest actually waxed on screen. He lets several profanity filled tirades rip and you actually see blood pooling on his chest. I guarantee it will make every person in the theater cringe. Talk about sacrificing your body for comedy.

As fun as Carell is, this movie would have been nothing without his strong co-stars. Paul Rudd is amusing as David, the heartbroken and bitter co-worker of Andy. Romany Malco plays Jay, the ladies man of the group. Seth Rogen plays Cal, the most adventurous of the group. Together the three represent almost all the aspects of the horny male psyche. It's quite hilarious to see them give Andy a mix of good and bad advice. But not to be outdone, the ladies in this movie also deliver a lot of laughs. Leslie Mann is memorable as Nicky, a drunken woman with a terrifying side that Carell only discovers when it's too late. Elizabeth Banks is also memorable as Beth, a girl with a freaky side that woos Andy. But best of all is Catherine Keener as Trish, Andy's love interest. I've always thought she was a great actress and she's quite funny in this role.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin also has a fun soundtrack. I can't remember the last time I heard the Theme from Greatest American Hero (Believe It or Not). Also included are Joe Walsh, Smokey Robinson, Asia, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie, Survivor, and more.

What Didn't Work:
The biggest stumbling block for The 40-Year-Old Virgin is that it is really crude and has a lot of profanity. You're either OK with this or you're not. I think Steve Carell is really funny and the writers are really talented, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do with material that's less risqué. Maybe then their audience won't be as limited as it will be with this subject matter.

The Bottom Line:
If you like raunchy comedy, then The 40-Year-Old Virgin delivers. Steve Carell proves just how funny he is. Hopefully this will be a springboard to more big screen roles.

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