The 40-Year-Old Virgin (15)

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The View Review

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Review byMatthew Turner31/08/2005

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 116 mins

Judd Apatow must be one of the unluckiest geniuses ever to work in television – he’s had not one but two brilliant TV shows cancelled out from under him: Undeclared and the utterly wonderful Freaks & Geeks. Given his unfair treatment at the hands of the TV networks, it’s no surprise to find Apatow turning his hand to movies – he served as producer on both Anchorman and Kicking & Screaming and makes his directorial debut with The 40 Year Old Virgin.

The Story

Carell plays Andy Stitzer, a 40 year old stock supervisor at an electronics store, who’s happy with his well-ordered life and his apartment full of video games and collectable action figures. That is until his work colleagues discover that he’s a virgin during a late-night poker game and vow to get him laid, by any means necessary.

Along the way, Andy falls for Trish (Catherine Keener), a quirky shop-owner who’s more than happy to take things slowly in their relationship. But how will she feel when she finds out the truth?

The Good and The Bad

The 40 Year Old Virgin is a strange mix of puerile jokes, gross-out humour, witty one-liners, physical comedy and genuinely sweet romance. Surprisingly, however, it works, despite a running time that’s a good 15 minutes too long and some occasionally baffling lapses in editing and continuity.

That the film works at all is largely due to the chemistry between the actors. Carell’s performance is extremely good and the script is careful to make the reasons behind his virginity believable. Keener is as adorable as ever and there’s a chemistry between her and Carell that takes you by surprise.

The humour is very hit and miss in places (drunk-driving isn’t as rich a source of comedy as the film-makers think it is), but the hits are good enough to make up for the misses. There are also some great, quotable one-liners (“How many pots have you smoken?”) and some memorable off-the-wall moments (“Wait – is that Steve Austin’s boss?”).

The Conclusion

In short, The 40 Year Old Virgin is an enjoyable romantic comedy with strong performances and a generous helping of laugh-out-loud gags. Recommended.

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The 40-Year-Old Virgin (15)
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Content updated: 26/09/2015 08:21

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