The 40-Year-Old Virgin Reviw
The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 comedy film directed by Judd Apatow and starring Steve Carell in the lead role. It is one of the most famous comedies of the decade and that is for good reasons as I found it quite good.
The story is about Andy, a middle-aged man who is a virgin on a quest to finally have sex. Now granted, the premise does not sound too great, but it is executed really well nevertheless with very good humor. And the storyline is familiar, but it is well told and always engaging to follow. And I really like how it begins and how it ends, although the middle tends to drag more often than not.
The characters are the finest aspect here along with the humor. Andy is a well written character that never becomes too theatrical or over-the-top. He is very likable and his genuine, good nature is really sweet and a great counteract to other characters. I liked Trish and the relationship between the two is really sweet and romantic. Beth is simply hilarious as is Paula who is the highlight in my opinion. As for the guys, they are typical characters for the actors who literally play themselves, but they are overall funny and likable.
The acting is excellent across the board with every performance being fantastic. Steve Carell probably gives the performance of his life here. He is so good with not only his voice but also behavior and facial expressions, providing many laughs in the process. But he was never too over-the-top and he made the character look real, while also being highly sympathetic. Catherine Keener also did a really good job and Elizabeth Banks and Jane Lynch stole the show. But I also was surprised at Seth Rogen, he was a lot better here than in his later efforts as he was genuinely funny at times.
The humor is the reason to see The 40-Year-Old Virgin. And that is great because comedies are supposed to have great humor and this one has it in spades. I liked both the subtle and the raunchy humor at display here. Steve Carell is of course excellent as is Rogen at times, but I honestly found the women to be the standouts here which is weird as they do not appear as much as the guys, but it is therefore all the more impressive as they steal the show. Elizabeth Banks is very funny and it is weird seeing her this young. But Jane Lynch was absolutely hilarious and such a ridiculous character. Her sexually charged dialogue is so funny not only for her terrific delivery but also for Carell’s innocent character who is a perfect counteract to her in their sequences.
I strongly disliked Judd Apatow’s direction for two reasons. First is the prolonged nature of it all. Just like in his ‘Knocked Up‘, this also has a ridiculously high amount of running time, especially for a comedy. And that really shows as it is badly edited and put together with some scenes tending to go for too long and the overall second act is way too dragged. The second problem I have with his direction is definitely his lack of sophistication in the script. Yes, it is smart at times and it is very honest, but it is still too black-and-white for my taste. The protagonist should not have been ridiculed as much for his lack of sex experience and the movie should have had a message about it, telling the audience that it isn’t a disaster. A more professional director would have had more subtle approach which was fairly needed. But I like the tone as it has its dramatic and romantic moments to go with the comedic ones. And the movie definitely has a heart. I only wish that it was paced and scripted a bit better.