THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

 

Review by Mark Walters

 

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a 40-year-old man who works in a electronic store. He doesn't own a car, but rather rides a bicycle to work. Andy also owns an extensive collection of comic books, collectible toys, and statues. He spends his off time sitting at home alone playing video games. Some of his buddies at work are starting to wonder if Andy might be a serial killer. What they don't know is the reason their co-worker seems a little off is because in 40 years of living, he has never lost his virginity. Not that he never came close, but Andy just never could seem to close the deal, and over time just plain gave up on sex. One night at a friendly poker game, Andy's pals David (Paul Rudd), Jay (Romany Malco), and Cal (Seth Rogen) discover the truth, and vow to help their friend correct this problem. After a series of failed attempts, it looks as if there may be no hope for Andy. But when a single woman named Trish (Catherine Keener) walks into the store, dropping off her number to our hero, everyone starts to think that he may be in luck after all.

 I first saw Steve Carell on Comedy Central's THE DAILY SHOW. He was funny then, and he's funnier now. In fact he's the driving force behind this film being so much fun. Carell is a very likable lead. He has that everyman look about him, and we can all see some of ourselves in him, whether we want to admit it or not. Andy is a pretty good representation of middle-aged men in America today. For some reason we all seem to cling on to childhood items, like action figures or video games, when we technically should've outgrown them by now. Just about everyone in this film is well cast. The buddies are also familiar and funny. Paul Rudd gets some great moments as a bitter man who just doesn't want to let go of his ex-girlfriend. Romany Malco plays the womanizer, who doesn't want to admit his full-time girlfriend is the most important thing in his life. Seth Rogen is the down-to-earth pal who care more about his friends than even they realize. I particularly liked Rogen, who surprisingly hasn't really done much before this. What's great about him is he doesn't look like an actor, but rather a regular guy, so it's easy to believe him as one of the work buds. Catherine Keener is pretty good too as the love interest. Kat Dennings plays her daughter Marla, who looks like she walked straight out of a John Hughes film. There are funny supporting performances by Elizabeth Banks as a wild bookstore employee, Leslie Mann as a boozing bar girl, and Jane Lynch as Andy's horny boss. The film reminds me of the sex comedies from the 70's and 80's. It's overly-offensive and raunchy in parts, but remains funny and endearing throughout. This film comes from the creators of ANCHORMAN, which starred Will Ferrell. Personally I found ANCHORMAN to be a bit silly, and little more than an overlong joke that was unimpressive despite many funny moments. This film is nothing like it. THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN plays out much more directly. At times it's screaming funny, but never gets overconfident with it's story. Films like this are fun to watch because they poke fun at the very things we do everyday. Little things like how to talk to women, or the ridiculous aspects of having an "eBay" storefront that doesn't sell anything to walk in customers, yet calls itself a store. At 116 minutes it runs a tad long for this type of movie, but it's so much fun you probably won't mind. Chances are this will be the film that makes Carell a star. The end sequence alone makes the whole thing worth it. It's unlikely we'll see a sequel, but by itself this film may just be one of the best comedies to come around in years.

BIGFANBOY.com score - On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I give THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN a 9.


Visit the official Universal Pictures THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN movie website by clicking here.

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