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Vince Reports He's a 40 Year-Old Virgin

Published August 21, 2005 in Movie Reviews
By Vince Palomarez | Images property of Universal Pictures
The 40 Year-Old Virgin Catherine Keener and Steve Carell in The 40 Year-Old Virgin
I find it both funny and extremely awkward when I watch a film and see a character do something embarrassing that reminds me of a similar experience I had in the past. Nobody else realizes it, but after seeing that particular scene you find your self fidgeting and sinking down in your chair a bit more than normal. Well, after seeing The 40 Year-Old Virgin I can say that not only was I sinking in my chair, I was so low I could see the gum I left on the bottom of my seat from 2 weeks ago. That about sums up how much this movie identified with me and it wasn't a particular character that stuck out, but I found myself sharing some similar experience or personality trait with all the male characters and that's what makes this film so special.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin Movie Review

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I am far from the ladies man. Yeah I'm hot and am a total catch (notice the italics to emphasize sarcasm), but I still find a way to make excuses for myself when it comes to relationships. I'm pretty sure a lot of men feel that way so it's no wonder why we can relate to Andy Stitzer's (Steve Carell) situation. I'm not saying that we're all virgins who have no game with women due to a previous bad experience, but we can all remember a time when trying to meet someone else was near impossible due to the fears we had from previous break ups or inexperience. Andy isn't the only one you can find yourself relating to. Each of his three friends has some quality or situation that we can find ourselves laughing at having gone through it in the past. Whether it's David's (Paul Rudd) stalker like obsession over his ex-girlfriend, Jay's (Romany Malco) constant need to sleep with every woman he meets due to his insecurities or Cal's (Seth Rogen) level head and determination to put his own needs aside to help his friends out.

This is no fluke either. Writer/Director Judd Apatow has been doing this for years in TV with critically acclaimed but little watched shows like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared. Apatow has always had a knack for identifying with the outsider making him/her matter. He's on the top of his game here as he makes even the raunchiest joke enjoyable for everyone to laugh at. Instead of making this guy the butt of all jokes and a total loser both Apatow and Carell create a very likeable character that is just so set in his own ways he is scared to change them. While some of the comedy is based on Andy's lack of knowledge of anything involving sex, the people around Andy play a huge part in creating the situations that lead to those laugh out loud moments.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin Andy's work buddies go to great lengths to get him laid.
Every good story needs a good set of actors to make it enjoyable to watch and The 40 Year-Old Virgin's cast steps up to the plate and hits it out of the park. Each cast member embraces their character to the fullest and while there isn't really too much background on any of they take advantage of the situations they are given and give each character a 3 dimensional feeling. You'll find yourself falling for Trish (Catherine Keener), a mother (and grandmother although she refrains from referring to herself as that) of 3 who is slowly trying to get back in the dating game again, just as fast as Andy did and want to hang out with three guys as cool as David, Jay and Cal Hopefully this film will be a good stepping stone for not only Carell, but also for Paul Rudd who shines in this film.

When watching The 40 Year-Old Virgin you can't help but think that this film is written by men for men only and I think that is it's only negative. A lot of the situations, jokes and storyline revolve so much around a man's experience with their first time that in a way I think kind of alienates the female crowd. There's still plenty to laugh at, but in a way a big part of the enjoyment for me was identifying so much with all the male characters.

Overall though there is something for everyone to identify with and like in The 40 Year-Old Virgin, which is saying a lot about a film centered on a middle aged man's quest to get laid. Whether it's the situations Andy finds himself in or the stories or experiences David, Jay and Cal talk about you're bound to find something that reminds you of time in your life that will either make you sink a little deeper in your chair or laugh at how ridiculous that whole situation was.


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Vince Palomarez
Sources: Images property of Universal Pictures

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