Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The 40 Year Old VirginSteve Carell Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Steve Carell
Reviewed by Byron Merritt

Thumbs Down


THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN is an adult comedy that tries too hard to be funny by infusing vulgarity and crude anti-social male behavior at nearly every turn (ala THE ARISTOCRATS).

It doesn’t miss the mark completely, but the attempts at portraying a message of some significance get consistently marred by foul jokes that pull the viewer away from any true meaning. I realize this is a "comedy", but the message of what it’s truly like to be a 40 year old virgin is never fully realized. All we know is that Andy (Steve Carell, The Daily Show) is a pretty boring virginal guy who collects action figures, works at an electronics store, and has never had sex with a woman in all his 40 years. This seems like a pretty shallow character representation ...and it is.

Where the comedy comes in is when Andy’s fellow male coworkers discover his lifelong secret. They try to help him out by giving advice, introducing him to loose women, and trying to change his body image (the chest waxing was painful to watch, funny, and gross).

Andy finally meets Trish (Catherine Keener, CAPOTE) and falls head over heels in love. But his attempts to get close to her are stifled by his coworkers’ advice and his lack of understanding of sexual behavior. This is where the comedy really could’ve gotten a leg-up on other shallow comedies (ex. DATE MOVIE) but doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Instead we’re given continual bathroom humor obviously directed at the teen movie-going crowd.

After finishing the film I had to ask myself if I really cared whether or not Andy got laid. And the answer was "no."

I also felt that the ending of the film was very forced; a last ditch effort to make the 40 and over crowd somehow feel more connected to the character by putting in a musical number from the 1979 musical HAIR.


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