The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Unrated
February 16, 2006
Thanks to small, but memorable roles in Bruce Almighty (2003) and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), comedian Steve Carell is poised for mainstream success and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) might be just the film to do it. It is a movie tailored to his considerable talents (it should be as he receives co-writing and co-executive producing credits) with the talented Judd Apatow, responsible for Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared T.V. shows, behind the camera.
Andy Stitzer (Carell) works at the help desk for Smart Tech, a Circuit City clone. He leads a mundane existence. He’s a nice guy but hopelessly square. Three of his co-workers (Rudd, Rogen and Malco) need one more person for their poker game and ask Andy to join them. During the course of the game it comes out that Andy has had zero experience with the opposite sex. He’s a 40-years-old and still a virgin and so his co-workers make it their goal in life to get him laid.
A lot of the film’s humour is their misguided attempts to try and get Andy to loosen up – get drunk, stoned, pee in public and even introduce him to pornography. Andy finally meets a smart, good-looking woman named Trish (Keener) who sells other people’s stuff on eBay but isn’t able to work up the courage to tell her that he’s a virgin.
His buddies continue to teach him personal grooming habits, including a hilarious scene where he attempts to get a body hair wax that is as painful to watch as it is funny. It’s not that the advice his buddies give Andy is bad per se, it’s just that he doesn’t put it into practice all that well. They each give him contradicting advice that he has to sort through. He begins to realize that they all have their own problems with women and are really no better off than he is.
Carell is excellent as a mild-mannered everyman who just wants to meet a nice girl but is subjected to all kinds of scary women thanks to his friends (i.e. the drunk girl who throws up all over him). Andy may be a nerd but his heart is in the right place and when it comes down to it he just wants what most of us want – to meet someone who you like to be with and fall in love. Carell is excellent at expressing the wide-eyed naivete his character has in regards to sex. It is endearing and funny at the same time. It is nice to see Catherine Keener playing a warm, kind person instead of the cold, abrasive ones she often plays. They have a good chemistry together and the scenes between them, where they get to know each other, are well written and believable.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin harkens back to the ‘80s R rated comedies like Trading Places (1983) and Bachelor Party (1984) with its raunchy dialogue and gross-out sequences but with a sweet romance at the centre to redeem all of the debauchery that is depicted. All gross-out humour aside, this movie is essentially about the relationships between men and women. The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a raunchy comedy with a brain and a love story at its heart.
There are deleted scenes that total 22 minutes and feature optional commentary by writer/director Judd Apatow and actor/producer Seth Rogen. There is a longer version of the scene between Andy and the drunk girl and one in which he sings karaoke. Also included, is an extension of the scene with Andy and the transvestite hooker. There is footage that is definitely unrated and was cut because it would not pass the censors. Apatow and Rogen talk about why these scenes were cut and put them into context, pointing out what was improvised.
“Waxing Doc” takes us through the hair waxing scene. We see it shot from various angles and they actually did it for real so that the reactions from the actors would be authentic. One has to feel for Carell for going through such a painful experience (talk about taking one for the team!).
“Line-O-Rama” shows us several alternate line readings for various scenes as the cast improvise various bits for different reactions.
“My Dinner with Stormy” features Seth Rogen having a brief drink with porn star Stormy who appears in the movie.
“Gag Reel” is a funny collection of blown lines and amusing line readings that crack up the actors in a given scene.
Finally, there is a highly enjoyable audio commentary by Apatow and cast members Rogen, Steve Carell, Gerry Bednob, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, Romany Malco, and Shelley Malil. Apatow and Carell got together on the set of Anchorman and the comedian pitched the idea for this movie. They point out the bits that are improvised and the unrated footage that has been added back in. It’s a rowdy track as everyone jokes around with each other. They even get Malil to do some of his stand-up routine. This is a very funny, entertaining track that is almost as hilarious as the movie itself and just as filthy!