The 40 Year Old Virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

American Pie started it all. Suddenly sex was out there, literally. No more innuendos and under-the-sheets shenanigans. Kids - in this case, teenagers - were masturbating, obsessing about mammaries, talking dirty and laughing their heads off. Being a virgin became the curse of the nerd. Life was all about getting laid, even with Stifler's mom, and girls were rated according to their fellatio skills.

The 40 Year Old Virgin is American Pie for grown ups. Andy (Steve Carell) is the nerd who never got his end away, while Dave (Paul Rudd), Jay (Romany Malco) and Cal (Seth Rogen), his mates at work, are normal, horny, sexist beasts who fantasise about breast sizes and copping a quickie off limits.

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The problem with the film is not the penis jokes, the vagina jokes, the nymphomaniac in the bath climaxing with a showerhead. The problem is Carell. He's not funny enough; he's not nerdy enough; he's not an older version of those losers in Napoleon Dynamite. He may be small, but so is Tom Cruise. He has his own teeth and isn't bad looking. Unless he's gay, the virgin gag resembles a clip-on dickey bow - definitely phoney.

You've guessed the plot by now. When Dave/Jay/Cal find out that Andy's kept it in his pants all these years, they are determined to fix him up with a babelicious piece of available pussy - like in Pie, women are treated like strawberry milkshakes.

Even a storyline as simple and straightforward as this might have spawned farcical situations of the gormless variety. Think what Jim Carrey would have done with it - no, don't! The image is too disturbing.

The support crew of Dave/Jay/Cal provides the laughs, with Trish (Catherine Keener), a thoroughly nice ex-hippie single mum, as Andy's love interest - how can he be so lucky? Keener has the warmest smile in Hollywood.

Instead of irony, humiliation and sexual inadequacy, The 40 Year Old Virgin offers sex-in-a-roll, with green salad and mayo and French fries shaped like dildos. There is even a what-to-do sequence with condoms that is too lame to be embarrassing. At least, the Dave/Jay/Cal combo understands gross-out comedy. Mooning with a video cam is about the level of their sporting achievements.

After this, celibacy sounds like a gas.

Reviewed on: 03 Sep 2005
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American Pie for grown ups.
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Read more The 40 Year Old Virgin reviews:

Stephen Carty ****1/2
The Remote Viewer ***1/2
Gator MacReady ***1/2

Director: Judd Apatow

Writer: Judd Apatow, Steve Carell

Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob, Shelley Malil

Year: 2005

Runtime: 116 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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