THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN
STARRING Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan
CO-WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Judd Apatow
Opens Friday, August 19
Judd Apatow has always been skilled at presenting stories about the marginalized, rejected, almost pathetic social castes in our society. The creative force behind the too-short-lived TV show Freaks and Geeks and the less cult more appealing Undeclared, Apatow has demonstrated an ability to show the humour in being an outcast, to create comedic situations around characters who possess a humility and heroic nature within their geeky selves.
In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Apatow once again shows his flair for making weirdoes into heroes. Managing to build a comedy out of what should be a single gag, Apatow (who co-writes, directs and co-produces) turns this celibacy fairy tale into a winning story about how its OK to be different. Despite the clichéd message and the sometimes repetitive humour, The 40-Year-Old Virgin manages to do the most surprising thing of all create a comedy about a character that exists for more than just furthering a punchline.
Starring as the titular loser is former Daily Show personality and current star of Foxs The Office, Steve Carell. He plays Andy, a bike-riding electronics store employee who has managed to make it into midlife without ever having got laid. After keeping to himself for what seems decades Andys sole friends are his elderly upstairs neighbours and the inanimate toy he collects hes unwillingly pulled out of his shell when he inadvertently befriends his co-workers. And, once his trio of new buddies the well-meaning and broken hearted David (Paul Rudd), the pot-smoking Cal (Seth Rogen) and the ladies man Jay (Romany Malco) find out their newest friend has never "done the deed," they take it upon themselves to ensure he gets the job done.
Carell, who endures a number of humiliations at the hands of his friends in the process ranging from speed dating to chest waxing, wonderfully plays Andy as a social misfit who nonetheless has a good heart. Keeping Andys character away from a condemning label as a loser, the film not-so-subtly reveals the way our sex-obsessed culture makes us all lose perspective.
Although the film finally meanders into the familiar territory of a middling comedy gags about the difference between men and women and straight men and gay men it keeps a respectable and positive perspective about sex. That said, The 40-Year-Old Virgin is still a little light on laugh-out-loud scenarios. Viewers will finally respect and adore Carells clueless Andy, but in spite of this, the film remains the kind of flick youd rather have a one-night stand with instead of a lasting relationship.