- Rated R
- Buy the BD
All photos © Universal
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
teve Carell is one funny guy, and in two short years he has stolen the spotlight from top comics like Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”), Jim Carrey (“Bruce Almighty”) and Will Ferrell (“Anchorman”). It’s about time that he’s been given the chance to shine as the star of his own movie, and in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” he’s brighter than ever. Following in the footsteps of the successful summer comedy romp “Wedding Crashers,” co-writer/director Judd Apatow proves once again that a raunchy, R-rated comedy can still bring in a mainstream audience. Apatow also proves that he can do it even better, and if you thought that “Wedding Crashers” was the funniest movie of the summer, then you haven’t seen “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
The film is crafted from the all-too-familiar coming-of-age tale, but much like 2002’s “About a Boy,” the main character isn't an adolescent, but rather a middle-aged man who lives like one. In this case, Andy (Carell) is the titular 40-year-old virgin, a stock manager at an electronics store who spends all of his money on comic books, video games and unopened collectibles. The other guys at the store (Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and Romany Malco) think he’s either gay or a serial killer, but after they find out about his little secret, they take Andy’s love life into their own hands and tutor him on his way to becoming a bona fide sex machine. Despite their many attempts (including a painfully hilarious body waxing) to transform Andy into an overnight Casanova, his sexual prowess is completely unaffected until he meets Trish (Catherine Keener), a smoking hot single mother with a soft spot for Andy.
Simply put, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is the funniest movie you’ll see all year. The script (co-written by Carell and Apatow) tows a steady line between lowbrow and highbrow comedy, and it’s one of many reasons why it’ll likely appeal to a larger audience. The characters are also easy to relate to, and watching a tortured Carell react as his real chest hair is ripped out by a giggling Asian woman, or after a promising date (Leslie Mann) throws up a strawberry daiquiri in his face, is so hilarious that you’ll most likely be crying from laughter. Supporting turns by Rudd and Rogen – particularly their ongoing “Know how I know you’re gay?” shtick – are also worth mentioning, but the film is, for all intents and purposes, Carell’s movie.
There was quite a bit of debate as to whether he would be able to carry an entire movie on his own, but even though Carell does get a lending hand from his scene-stealing co-stars, the up-and-coming comedy star does a great job with the material. Don’t expect a career of Jim Carreyproportions, but the next time you see Carell’s name at the top of the bill, you’ll have a better idea why it’s there. Know how I know you’re gay? Because you’re not rushing out to see “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
Single-Disc Blu-Ray Review:
Universal’s catalog titles have yet to include any new extras when released on Blu-ray, and while that’s usually something worth complaining about, the “40-Year-Old Virgin” DVDs were already so ripe with bonus material that you won’t feel nearly as cheated as you have in the past. Everything from the original releases appear here, like the audio commentary with Judd Apatow and cast, the multi-camera featurette on the infamous waxing scene, additional footage from the speed dating scene, alternate line readings, and over 30 minutes of deleted scenes. Also included are Apatow’s video production diaries, audition tapes, an extended version of the "Know how I know you're gay?" scene, and two interviews with Apatow and the cast.