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51 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 40-Year-Old Virgin's review..., March 9, 2007
This review is from: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Unrated Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
My first viewing of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" was late in its theatrical run. By then it had been banished to the smallest theater in the multiplex, so me and (I assume) the only other middle-aged virgin in town were its sole audience. I wish I'd seen it sooner, because it's now one of my all-time favorite comedies.

Forty-year-old Andy Stitzer lives a comfortably regimented singleton life - similar to the main character from "About a Boy," except chaste, uncool, and with no internal monologue. He works in the service department of Smart Tech, a Circuit City-like electronics store. One day, a couple of coworkers ask him to be the fifth man at a poker party. He accepts, but during the game is outed as a virgin. The rest of the movie revolves around his friends' outrageous attempts to get him hooked up, along with Andy's determined efforts to overcome his fear of women and woo Trish, an attractive customer who owns an online auction store across the street.

This could easily have been another lowbrow copulation comedy. However, it's much better than that. Steve Carell (also a co-writer) does a fine job of making Andy into a sympathetic character. Indeed, I easily identified with his motivations and actions: the bad experiences that led him to forsake dating, his escape into fantasy, and even the mundane activities he uses to fill his solitary life. Andy's friends are also intriguing because they represent flawed approaches to women. David (Paul Rudd) is obsessed with a gal who dumped him years ago, Cal (Seth Rogan) objectifies females, and the serial cheater Jay (Romany Malco) can't commit to his longsuffering girlfriend.

The movie has been lengthened in this DVD edition by 17 minutes with additional and extended scenes. As for DVD extras, this edition is packed with a decent assortment. Deleted scenes like Andy's public karaoke debut added depth to the characters. A series of outtakes include the usual blown lines, gaffes, and laughing fits. The lively commentary contains interesting bits of trivia on the filmmaking process. However, it was a bit too crowded for my taste (just about everybody shows up), and Seth Rogan has a tendency to dominate the proceedings. Unfortunately, Catherine Keener is a glaring absence. Her portrayal of Trish is excellent, and I really wanted to hear her perspective. Finally, the other featurettes, such as the waxing scene "making-of" bit, are stock, but passable.

Although it's somewhat raunchy, as a Christian I have to commend "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" for a single crucial thing: it's the only mainstream movie I know of that makes chastity until marriage look like a grand idea. That alone is enough to recommend it (even if my pastor disagrees). But the humor, story, characters, and performances are also worth the watch - especially if someday, like me, you hope to sing "Age of Aquarius" on your honeymoon.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 27, 2008 8:01:02 AM PDT
Exactly!

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 9:26:12 PM PDT
B. Langman says:
Nicely written!

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 6:24:41 PM PDT
Twiddles42 says:
It'd have been more poignant if you had written

"Although it's somewhat raunchy, I have to commend 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' for a single crucial thing: it's the only mainstream movie I know of that makes chastity until marriage look like a grand idea. "

because one needn't religion to appreciate and applaud a movie that goes against the grain and promotes affirming relationships... and, believe it or not, I am Christian as well...

But yours is a fantastic review. The movie could easily have been yet-another-lame-sexfest but there's enough thought and wit to keep the movie going, despite the crudity that was (to me) off-putting at times. Especially once Trish and Andy go out but later get caught in her apartment by her (adult) child; roll with it and the movie keeps getting better and better. It's an interesting mix of raunch and heartwarming comedy, but it works - if only the feel was consistent from the start of the movie, but "delayed gratification" arguably makes it better.
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