Mooj: Hey Andy, don't let him bother you. It's okay not to have sex. Not eveybody's a pussy magnet. You, uh, what are you 25?
Andy Stitzer: I'm 40.
Mooj: Holy shit, man you got to get on that.
So, what is The 40-Year-Old Virgin about, one might ask? Well, look no further than the title. This 2005 film is about a 40-year-old virgin - played by Steve Carell. OK, about one who is about to get his first taste of some bona fide tail. But this foregoing of complicated plots (and requisite twists) that seems to be dominating the Big Screen these days allows this movie to focus on character development and its raunchy comedy. The simple concept freed up the writers to present mostly plausible characters (and characters they indeed were) and hilarious sex-centered situations that combined to make one of the funniest and dirtiest mainstream comedies ever.
Although there was a significant reliance on improvised dialogue, writing credits primarily go here to Judd Apatow (who also directed) and then Steve Carell, who also played the movie's central character, Andy Stitzer, the 40-year-old virgin. Seth Rogen, who plays the surly Cal, is also a producer, rounding out the crew of dudes wearing multiple hats at the helm of this production. Indeed, this movie proved to be the first of a series of View Askew-esque pictures, with the same style of humor and using and reusing the same directors, writers, producers, and actors, and most of them serving more than one of those roles. It was followed-up by Knocked Up (2007), Superbad (2007), Drillbit Taylor (2008), and Pineapple Express (2008).
The frank tone of the comedy in the film was set early - in one of the first scenes - where Cal is graphically explaining to Andy, who is shyly trying not to pay too much attention, about a live show he'd seen about a woman having sex with a horse. This takes place at the electronics store where they work, which is Best Buy for all intents and purposes, but which the movie says is named SmartTech. Andy, the virgin, lives alone (as you might expect), collects action figures and loves video games (well you probably would expect those, too). He works with the aforementioned Cal, as well as affable David (Paul Rudd, to Friends fans, The Guy Who Married Phoebe), the unforgetable and unbelievably dirty-minded immigrant Mooj (played by Trinidad funnyman Gerry Bednob) and Jay (Romany Malco), a kind of a ladies' man with stereotypical gangsta mannerisms.
Early on, Andy reluctantly is dragged into playing poker with The Guys one night, whereupon they detect his virginity, mostly because of Andy's description of breasts as feeling like grabbing "bags of sand." And thus sets in motion the simple plot of his friends conspiring to hilariously put an end to his ridiculously lifelong celibacy. Well, an ulterior motive for hanging out with him emerges, something besides their mission to get him laid: Andy’s sweet video game set up complete with a huge plasma tv, stereo surround sound, and full internet capabilities. This leads to one of the funniest scenes, the “I Know you’re gay” scene, with David and Cal, using all improvised dialogue, telling each other why one knows the other is gay – while playing Andy’s video games.
But anyway, their mission to devirginize Andy leads to an awkward trip to a dance club, a very painful (and bloody real-looking) waxing of Andy's abundant chest hair, loads of hilariously bad sex advice, a belly laugh-inducing scene where Andy tells Jay to keep his bitch (wife) on a leash (right in front of Jay's wife), and finally a date, which Andy actually got for himself. This is with Trish Piedmont (Catherine Keener), a mother of three who works in a store across the street.
Of course Andy's friends intervene, trying to make sure that he is anything but himself for fear that he will fail, even going so far as to have him clear his apartment of all action figures, video games and comic books - which leaves it stark bare. But in the end, he learns a lesson that many, many, MANY movie and television characters before him have learned, that if he would have just been honest things would have been even better because the dishonesty causes conflict which threatened to destroy their budding relationship.
So does he end up losing his virginity to her once things are patched up? Well, I'll let you find out when you see it, but see it you must. It's a great flick that, despite its frank and graphic sexual humor, has a lot of heart, an underlying sweetness to it in defiance of the raunchy humor, with a great comedic actor - Steve Carell - to skillfully walk the tightrope between the two.
Compared to all other movies I've seen, I give it 3 out of 4 stars; compared to all other comedies I've seen, I give it 4 out of 4 stars.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Release Date: August 19, 2005
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Written By: Judd Apatow & Steve Carell
Produced By: Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Steve Carell
Running Time: 116 minutes
Running Time (Unrated Cut): 133 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures, Apatow Productions
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch
Sources: imdb.com, Wikipedia