Top 365 Films – #166 – The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Top 365 Films - 40 Year Old VirginDIRECTED BY: Judd Apatow

STARRING: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Gerry Bednob and Elizabeth Banks

BUDGET: $26m

EARNED (Worldwide): $177.4m

AWARDS: None

 

SYNOPSIS

Goaded by his buddies, a nerdy guy who’s never “done the deed” only finds the pressure mounting when he meets a single mother.

 

The film focuses on 40-year-old Andy Stitzer is a guy who works at an electronics store and owns a nice apartment filled with a huge collection of ‘collectible’ action figures and video games. One night when playing poker with his work colleagues/friends one little thing that Andy hasn’t gotten around to doing yet comes out….he’s never had sex. When his friends make it their duty to pass along their knowledge and help him out in this situation, Andy meets single mother of three Trish who he begins to fall for.

 

Ten years on from its original release, for me anyway The 40-Year-Old-Virgin is still the best film Apatow’s done. It’s a simple premise that is not outside the realm of possibility that provides not only serious laughs but a big heart in the overall scheme of things. Andy Stitzer is a likable character who we follow on this crazy journey, a man who has sit long on the sidelines after previous attempts of having sex (told in flashback sequences) have put him off any attempts to have sex since, devoting his life instead to gaining a massive collection of action figures and video games and watching Survivor airings with his neighbours upstairs. His three friends that make it their mission to get him laid are wonderfully cast, with Paul Rudd as David who passes on Andy his wisdom of sex being about love, all the while being still being hopelessly in love with a woman who has long since move along with no interest in him whatsoever, then there’s Romany Malco as Jay, a ladies man who passes on knowledge of how to use his ‘peripheral vision’ and how in every man there’s a code that says ‘tackle drunk bitches’ and then there’s Seth Rogen as Cal who claims to know how to talk to women because he’s a novelist and when questioned on why he hadn’t told Andy ‘because I’m not an arrogant prick’, passing on method of planting seeds and ‘never actually say anything to a woman; just ask questions.’ Clearly these guys have their own problems and happen to pass them off as advice, leading Andy into funny yet terrifying experiences for him with two women, one leading him in a drunk-driving experience he’ll never forget where alarm bells should’ve rung whenever the breathalyzer came out and with bookstore worker Beth who inevitably scares the complete shit out of him. The real heart of the film lies in the chemistry between Carell and Keener, a single mother named Trish who runs a store in the mall where she can take your stuff and sell it on eBay…just not sell it to you in the store. Keener’s performance provides the heart where Carell’s performance provides the soul, making this comedy worthwhile viewing.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: As much as I’ve grown to enjoy the scene between Romany Malco and Kevin Hart (in a cameo), I’ll give my vote to the chest waxing scene. The fact that Carell done it for real and the reactions from Rudd, Rogen and Malco are priceless.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘I may not have had sex, but I could fuck you up.‘ – Andy Stitzer

DID YOU KNOW?: According to Seth Rogen, Steve Carell was so nervous that the film would be shut down by the studio, he had the writers prepare a back-up version of the script that didn’t contain a single word of profanity.

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