The 40-Year-Old Virgin
is the latest in a recent line of ridiculous comedies. While it does have a few inspired moments and is way more sincere than I would’ve guessed, I left the theater feeling like I lost more than a few brain cells.
Andy (Steve Carell), the title character, is a middle-aged clerk of sorts at an electronics store (I’m not sure I ever got his official title). He still has many adolescent tendencies – like his massive collection of action figures. To say he’s a homebody is understating it. Even retired upstairs neighbors get out more than he does. One night some co-workers invite Andy to late night poker game.
The guys David (Paul Rudd), Jay (Romany Malco), & Cal (Seth Rogen) realize through the course of conversation that Andy is a virgin. They each decide to try and get him laid.
When the film tries to play the concept straight it’s kind of heart warming and touching. One day at work Andy meets Trish (Catherine Keener), who gives him her number. After building up some confidence Andy calls her up and a romance starts to develop between them.
Through a funny development, they agree not to sleep together until the twentieth date. Andy has to walk a fine line between getting closer to Trish, having her kids accept him, and not letting his secret be exposed. Some of these scenes are very well done.
However, at the same time Andy’s three friends try to help him out. These sequences didn’t work as well for me. Some start out very funny and just go on way too long (like a chest-waxing scene). Others just weren’t that humorous. That said, the four actors all have a strong chemistry together. It’s believeable seeing them as guys just shooting the breeze.
As with any romantic comedy there’s a rift that occurs between Andy and Trish, leading to the inevitable breakup and subsquent reconcilliation. It’s a pretty sweet scene even if overdone. The film ends with the obligatory wedding and (mostly) tasteful sex scene. Well, there was a bizarre “Age of Aquarius” musical number, but you’ll have to see that for yourself.
So, overall a mixed bag. The romance generally works, and the comedy is mostly too over-the-top for my taste. It’s also about 20 minutes too long. Still it has plenty of laughs, and I’m sure it will please plenty of moviegoers.
2 out of 4 stars