"The 40 Year Old Virgin" is funny, entertaining and consistently good. Unfortunately, it's over two hours long.
That pretty much sums up the movie right there. Steve Carell plays Andy Stitzer to perfection, a slightly odd 40-year old guy who works at an electronics store, rides a bike to work, collects action figures and just happens to have never had sex. The movie is smart in not portraying him as a complete loser; yes, he's a dork, but a good-natured dork that can interact with people. One day he is invited by his coworkers to an after-hours poker game, and there the horrifying truth is told: he's never had sex. While Andy has given up on the idea, his newfound friends (played by Romany Malco, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen) make it their mission to get him laid.
Carrell, best known for his work in "Bruce Almighty" and "Anchorman," finally gets the starring role he deserves. He's perfect for the role both in mannerisms and looks; he's not a bad-looking guy, but as one of his friends in the movie states, he could be a serial killer. While Carrell is funny, it is actually his friends who steal the show. Rudd plays a moody romantic who switches between viciousness and emotional cheesiness mid-sentence. Malco is a horny bachelor who unfortunately isn't single. Rogen perhaps gives the best advice at all, but he still eyes the quick lay. The team of four play well off one another, which is a real shame since they hardly appear in the last half hour of the film.
Whether it be painful waxing of the nipple hairs or failed attempts at putting on a condom, "Virgin" has laughs built in to just about every scene. The movie is consistently funny and guaranteed to entertain if you are one of the many who loved "Old School" and other films of that variety. Unfortunately, like so many of these films, "Virgin" forgets its core competency near the end as it veers away from men-focused comedy and turns into a romantic comedy with the standard romantic comedy ending. Andy and his girlfriend, Trish, played by Catherine Keener, get into an argument, they break up, and then he has to win her back. The three friends barely have roles in the final act, and all the men in the audience really don't care about the relationship between Andy and Trish. The last twenty minutes could have been chopped off and it would have put the running time at a reasonable length (under two hours) and avoided the cliché romantic scenes. Regardless, this movie should not have ended with a wedding scene.
"The 40 Year Virgin" is a laugh fest that may become a mini-classic once it reaches DVD, but it doesn't match such films as "Old School." The movie merely suffers from being too long; had it been twenty minutes shorter it would have been perfect.
As if not long enough, there's now an additional 17 minutes in the Unrated version, now out on DVD. Thankfully, the DVD comes with a series of deleted and extended scenes that are both funny and capatilize on some of the best moments of the movie (including a very-long take on "You know how I know you're gay?"). A lot of the special features seem like nothing more than excerpts from the film in a way to make the bonus features section fuller, but they're still fun. Another highlight is a behind-the-scenes look at the chest waxing scene.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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