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The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

December 18, 2009

8/10 World’s Creepiest Posters

Works surprisingly well for a movie that’s essentially one running gag for two hours straight.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin is about a 40 year-old endearing nerd who still hasn’t had sex – he’s come close a couple times, but, no, still hasn’t sealed the deal. Then one day his co-workers find out about this utter crime against humanity and make it their mission to get this guy laid.

Believe it or not, there’s actually a lot more heart here than the synopsis would lead to you believe. Judd Apatow seems to have this formula of “crude + caring = everybody wins” down to a science at this point, but still, it gets pretty damn crude. I know some folks who absolutely hate this movie because of its gross-out factor, and even though it all just had me laughing me ass off, I can appreciate how this might not be everyone’s thing.

But outside of the physical gags and the constant sex jokes, the real selling point here is Carell and Apatow’s script. The writing here is great in a number of aspects, but the thing I always find myself impressed by is that it never gets old. It successfully manages to not just be a movie about dick jokes and awkward sexual/non-sexual encounters because the comic writing is so damn strong and because the main character, Andy (the freak up on that poster), actually wants a relationship and isn’t just trying to pop his cherry. Aside from the waxing scene, I don’t think a whole lot of people leave this movie talking about the cringe-worthy stuff, but rather the fresh and hilarious dialogue coming from the mouths of a really solid cast of newcomers.

And even though a lot of the lines were ad libbed and whatnot – which isn’t a bad thing in the least, as long as it’s done well – all the stuff about donkey shows and Michael McDonald hate and hoodrats are easily my favorite part of this movie as it outshines everything else that’ll make your face turn sour. Every new scene is these guy brewing up conversations that are even crazier than the last, and, yeah, it can be a little rough around the edges, but it’s too good to not appreciate.

The other big thing Apatow has going for him here is his characters. Whether they’re on-screen for two seconds or two hours, they’re all totally memorable and have their own great personalities. Just look at Jonah Hill’s cameo, he’s in here for a blink of an eye playing some kid who just wants to buy a pair of platform shoes with fish in them and even he has a great line or two.

It’s not often that a movie serves as such a significant launching pad for so many careers, but good lord, the proof is in the pudding with this one.

My favorite is still Seth Rogen, but you’ve also got Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, and a bit role by Mindy Kaling from The Office, too. I think we all know this gang by now, you can thank Judd Apatow for that one. And even though it’s kinda hard to think of Steve Carell outside of Michael Scott nowadays, the dude has always been hilarious from back in his Daily Show years and it was about damn time he got his due.

And thank God it finally put Apatow on the map. I like to think it’s karma for whoever came up with the brilliant idea to cancel Freaks and Geeks.

Only problem here is the bizarro ending. “Age of Aquarius”? Where the hell did that come from?

Back in ’05, the debate between my friends and I was always between this and Wedding Crashers, and even though I think Wedding Crashers is a damn funny movie, it’s no 40 Year-Old Virgin. I was expecting to laugh as hard as I did when I first saw this, and it still has me laughing today. Great characters, great writing, and just a wicked sense of humor to back it all up.

“Hoodrats”, man. Too good.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    December 18, 2009 10:19 am

    Y’know, I always thought that Matt Damon was like a Streisand, but he’s rocking the shit in this one!

  2. Branden permalink
    December 18, 2009 2:12 pm

    I think this was the movie I saw twice in theaters on purpose. I went once by myself and another time on a date. I laughed my ass off every time. “You Know Hoe I Know You’re Gay” to rusty trombones to apple bongs. Classic!

  3. mcarteratthemovies permalink
    December 18, 2009 2:39 pm

    My idea of a perfect movie? One where Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell AND Jane Lynch show up on the set. Catherine Keener is just icing on the proverbial cake. With a cast like this, I’d say the movie couldn’t be BAD, but Apatow’s writing helps. He’s always had an ear for dialogue and an ability to give his characters little quirks that make them totally memorable. I guess you could say Apatow doesn’t really write “bit parts.”

    Carell, however, made this movie greatness. Another actor might have taken Andy to a darker place, or someone like Will Ferrell would have maken him a dumb caricature. But Carell made him a real person we care about, and that makes all the difference.

  4. December 19, 2009 1:40 am

    I had a weird experience with this movie. I saw it the first time and it did absolutely nothing for me. The second time around, it was amazingly hilarious. Go figure, I guess you have some movies a second chance…

  5. December 21, 2009 6:57 am

    ‘why do you have an Asia poster?’

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