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Overall Rating
4.21

Awesome53.69%
Worth A Look: 31.54%
Just Average: 4.7%
Pretty Crappy: 2.68%
Sucks: 7.38%

12 reviews, 77 user ratings


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40-Year-Old Virgin, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"More than just the thinking man's 'Deuce Bigalow'"
4 stars

Andy Stitzer is a nice enough guy–he is pleasant, well-mannered and always presentable. He has an enormous collection of comic books and action figures–even obscurities like the Oscar Goldman figure with the exploding briefcase–and logs many hours playing video games in his room. He even has a good job at the local electronics superstore that he rides to every day on his bicycle. However, during an night hanging out with his friends, he inadvertently lets slip the fact that he is still a virgin and his buddies make it their mission in life to get their friend in the sack with a girl. While they are trying to set him up with a sure thing, Andy finds himself falling in love with a girl–one a lot more experienced than he is–and does everything he can to hide his secret from her.

And at this point, many of you are probably beginning to tune out because this is a plot that has been told hundreds of times in any number of sniggering teen-oriented T&A epics in which Sylvia Kristel would play the saucy maid or Sybil Danning would appear as the saucy French tutor opposite a bunch of no-name twenty-somethings (uncomfortably posing as teens) who would usually never be seen again. However, there is one key thing about Andy that I haven’t quite mentioned yet–he is not a teenager. In fact, he is 40 years old, a fact that is cleverly suggested to viewers by naming the film “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” Thankfully, the title is the only ham-fisted thing about the film–this is a sly sex comedy that relies on genuine wit instead of gross gynecological detail for its humor and it scores a number of huge laughs while maintaining a certain sincerity and sweetness.

For starters, the film smartly refuses to label Andy (Steve Carell) as a freak for not having had sex before. Instead, it is explained away in terms that many people can relate to–he had his chances over the years but things never quite clicked for various reasons (one flashback serves as a perfect illustration of why any toe-suckers out there should probably make sure ahead of time if their potential partners are ticklish or not) and at a certain point, he just decided that it probably wasn’t going to happen for him and he simply decided to stop trying.(“I respect them so much that I stay away from them.”) His buddies (Romany Malco, Seth Rogen and the invaluable Paull Rudd) kid him over this but they are genuinely sincere in their desire to introduce him to sex and their efforts help to pull Andy out of the rut that he has unthinkingly dug himself into.

The other intelligent choice that director Judd Apatow (who co-wrote the screenplay with Carell) is to not portray the various women that Andy encounters as weirdos, harpies or hateful freaks–the approach usually taken by most male-oriented sex comedies. Okay, the drunk girl (Leslie Mann) that he is set up with in a bar is no one’s suggestion of a feminine ideal (never trust a girl who carries her own personal Breathalyzer) but it helps underline the fact that Andy is looking for more than just an easy lay. On the other hand, there is another sexually aggressiveness girl (Elizabeth Banks) who also takes a shine to Andy–too aggressively for her own good–but instead of being depicted as a grotesque slut, the film shows her as a normal enough girl with a healthy sex drive whose forwardness is unfortunately lost on the like of Andy. When he does meet the girl of his dreams, the 40ish single mother (and more) Trish (Catherine Keener), he falls for her even before realizing the difficulties that might be posed by his secret–the comedy comes not from his attempts to get her into bed but from his struggles with figuring out what to do once he gets her there.

It is intriguing that this film is being released just a week after the debut of the loathsome “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” because the two stand in stark contrast in the ways that they approach the idea of a sex comedy. “Deuce Bigalow” hates and fears women and that hatred is evident in every scene in which women are portrayed as degenerate mutants or psychos. The makers of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” on the other hand, genuinely like women and understand that if you make them objects of mystery and affection instead of ridicule and scorn, the results will usually wind up a lot funnier in the long run. “Deuce Bigalow” is aimed for (and seemingly made by) 12-year-old boys who hate women because they don’t understand them. “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” on the other hand, is a film that older audiences can also enjoy without feeling like they are witnessing a cinematic hate crime.

I realize that I am making this film sound a lot more serious-minded than it really is and I hasten to assure you that it is absolutely hilarious from beginning to end. There are brilliantly conceived and constructed scenes–two of the best involve Andy painfully getting his chest hair waxed before a date and later taking Trish’s teen daughter (Kat Dennings) to a Planned Parenthood clinic for advice on birth control and winds up learning a lot himself. There are equally funny throwaway lines as well–I love a bit where one of Andy’s buddies suggests that he act like David Caruso in “Jade” and the observation in a bar about it being $9-Beer Night. Then there are the bits where it feels as if the actors were allowed to just make things up while the cameras rolled; Rudd gets a hilarious rant about the Michael McDonald DVD that plays on a continuous loop in the store (“I am going to Ya Mo Burn This Place Down!”), a couple of the guys punctuate a long dialogue scene by inexplicably shattering fluorescent light tubes every few seconds and I love the weird curses Carell utters during his waxing (“Ahhhh–Kelly Clarkson!”)

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is not a great comedy–it goes on a little too long for its own good and, like last year’s “Anchorman,” it has a relatively weak third act that never quite tops what we’ve seen before. However, it has a lot of big laughs and it is a far more consistent comedy than the equally raunchy “Wedding Crashers.” (Even better, there is no cameo from Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller to offend the eye.) Most importantly, it has a great central performance by Steve Carell as Andy. You’ve seen Carell before in scene-stealing supporting bits in films like “Bruce Almighty” and “Anchorman” and this film marks his first shot at a leading role. In the past, most second bananas who have attempted to be the top banana have demonstrated that they lack the ability to carry a feature film–for proof, try to sit through anything top-lining Rob Schneider or David Spade. Carell, on the other hand, has the goods–like the film, he is funny and charming and we want him to get the happy ending that he deserves. Thanks to him, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is the rare sex comedy where the brain and the heart get as much playing time as the other organs

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12748&reviewer=389
originally posted: 08/19/05 00:03:09
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell funny flick 4 stars
4/15/14 Charles Tatum Funny, but VERY overrated 4 stars
8/11/09 sandeep good 3 stars
6/16/09 Sterling chest hair scend was hilarious 4 stars
5/05/09 sandy freeman stupid stupid stupid. garbage film. 1 stars
3/29/09 Anonymous. hilarious and almost perfect-3.5/4 :D 5 stars
7/18/08 Shaun Wallner Had some funny parts. 3 stars
3/08/08 jbubbles A wonderful comedy with a lot of heart. Steve Carell is so loveable. 5 stars
3/02/08 ladavies Very funny, but plot drags. 4 stars
3/02/08 SamanthaPayntr so funny! Steve Carell is always really funny! and i love Seth Rogan! 5 stars
12/16/07 gr Brilliant! 5 stars
12/14/07 Pamela White very cute but not one for my library 3 stars
8/15/07 Ashley uggg A-MAY-ZINNGGG 5 stars
6/20/07 Erin People who are so negative about this are only trying to sound smarter than they really are 5 stars
6/08/07 Dave sucked ass 1 stars
6/01/07 ES A good comedy, some great funny moments but the song at the end was too over the top 4 stars
5/08/07 David Pollastrini didn't think much of it. 2 stars
5/06/07 fools♫gold I didn't like it, but props for the three times it made me die from laughing! 2 stars
4/19/07 Chris Redmond The funniest, most compassionate American comedy since Meet the Parents. 5 stars
3/10/07 Steve Maybe my IQ is a little too high for my brain to allow me to enjoy this shit for a movie? 1 stars
2/13/07 The chode Fucking hilarious, the unedited version is 100000 times better. 5 stars
2/12/07 AJ Muller I pity the miserable people who don't find this utterly hilarious. Best comedy in years. 5 stars
12/12/06 Dude Gross and Unfunny. It Sucked so much ass 1 stars
9/30/06 Tamara D. Leonard Disgusting drivel. I carried my father with me, and I was so embarassed I wanted to hide. 1 stars
7/26/06 Kurt AMAZING WEINBURG WAS RIGHT 5 stars
7/26/06 Agent Sands Carell is one of the new generation's great comedians. And it's a well-made film at that. 4 stars
7/19/06 Danielle It was okay. 4 stars
7/16/06 EZ never laughed the whole damn movie!!! 1 stars
5/10/06 millersxing Sympathetic over-the-hill dude scores for the 1st time. Uncomfortable and lol funny. 4 stars
4/24/06 MP Bartley Great jokes, underpinned with a genuinely sweet sensibility. Carell is terrific. 4 stars
4/10/06 Sully f*ck your Grandmother, then ask her for a check for $12........ 5 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Hilarious. A rare comedy where funny dialogue replace sight gags 5 stars
3/02/06 Anthony Feor Funny once, after that, nothing 3 stars
2/26/06 Steven Lewis It had it's very funny moments but some were just blah.. 3 stars
2/19/06 Tanya I laughed until I cried 5 stars
1/21/06 Crackhead How can anybodey like this, you have to be a virgin to like this, this movie sucks 1 stars
12/29/05 Simon Specific scenes and dialogue are quite funny, but that's all;drawn-out plot and bit clichéd 3 stars
12/29/05 Taylor Fladgate An instant classic. Learn the punch lines now for your New Years parties. 5 stars
12/28/05 Phil M. Aficionado Lots of kudos deserved, but the overlong and atrocious ending hurts the film, big. 4 stars
12/09/05 Doc Hollywood Absolutely Crap. Bastard copy of Japanese Densha Otoko idea. Humour forced, NO PLOT! 1 stars
11/22/05 13-year old viewer of this film If they keep makin' horror flicks like this, I'll probably be a 40-year old virgin too! 1 stars
11/09/05 rachel very funny and entertaining. worth watching 5 stars
10/27/05 PAG pretty funny 4 stars
10/26/05 Michael Kondo this was pretty good, not great but not bad 4 stars
10/26/05 deadwiz This movie was hilarious! I can't wait for the dvd! 5 stars
10/11/05 Josh Swanson Drop-dead, laugh your ass off funny!!! Way better then Wedding Crashers, which was goodtoo 5 stars
10/08/05 Rosa Fleur It was 'ow you say pretty damn good! I would of had sex with 'im! Poor bloke! 5 stars
10/03/05 bgu nhko bjhýnhý 5 stars
9/28/05 Sarah was ere my name is sarah darymple i lost muh virginty to muh hand 1 stars
9/23/05 Someone who'd mistakenly heard this film was a "comedy" Watching this movie is like having someone piss on your brain, only not as rewarding. 1 stars
9/19/05 ERIC ROBERT WILKINSON Keener steals the film as a sweet foil for the virginal hero (Carell)! So hilarious! 5 stars
9/16/05 Laura Lee Macleod childish, silly, juvenile but oddly watchable 4 stars
9/07/05 Marcia Refreshingly "R"; perfect casting, acting, set dec. Consistent laughs and sweetness. 5 stars
9/04/05 Indrid Cold When a movie like this is the best comedy of the year, we're REALLY starved for quality. 3 stars
9/02/05 KR Jin: You know how I know you're gay? You don't like this movie. 5 stars
8/29/05 Jin further evidence of the dumbing down of America. 2 stars
8/28/05 bullit16 Not quite TSAM, but pretty damn funny 4 stars
8/28/05 KCobain The humor frustrating and tedious. In poor taste. 2 stars
8/28/05 Dan Very good. Best Comedy of the year. Loved the old Indian guy! 4 stars
8/27/05 LittlePenguin FUCKING HILARIOUS! BRILLIANT, FUNNIEST MOVIE I HAVE SEEN IN MONTHS! 5 stars
8/25/05 Caiphn Best Romedy I've ever seen. 4 stars
8/24/05 Lisa Perfect combination -- hilarious and smart, with heart, and an extremely talented cast 5 stars
8/23/05 Lauren this movie was absolutely HILARIOUS I almost peed my pants! 5 stars
8/23/05 Trevor Freakin genius!! We quoted the movie the ENTIRE next day! 5 stars
8/22/05 Alyson I literally got a head ache from laughing too hard. I just might have to see it again. 5 stars
8/22/05 Boy Oxford Constantly hilarious, great acting from everyone 5 stars
8/22/05 Mr. Eff Great movie. Funny through the whole two hours. 5 stars
8/21/05 Uncle Salty FUCKING OUTSTANDING 5 stars
8/21/05 jcjs wow, gees, ooooh, as funny and clever as 'Sideways' if not more so...great 5 stars
8/21/05 SD So good you'll need to see it again 5 stars
8/20/05 Sharline It was hte funniest movie I've seen all year!! I Loved it!! 2 thumbs way up!! 5 stars
8/20/05 Jim The Movie Freak Maybe not the "Best" film of 2005 so far, but my personal favorite. 5 stars
8/20/05 ajay very funny, best movie of the summer. 5 stars
8/20/05 Titus Makes a couple low-brow punches that could be left out, drags a bit. Otherwise: great! 4 stars
8/19/05 buford hilarious. it's a shame that dumb america will probably not see it. 5 stars
8/19/05 Kristina Williams Kelly Clarkson! 5 stars
8/19/05 Danny Pesses Best comedy I've seen in a VERY long time! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Aug-2005 (R)
  DVD: 22-May-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  06-Oct-2005


Directed by
  Judd Apatow

Written by
  Judd Apatow
  Steve Carell

Cast
  Steve Carell
  Catherine Keener
  Paul Rudd
  Seth Rogen
  Romany Malco
  Elizabeth Banks



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