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The 40 Year-Old Virgin (R)

Release Date: August 19th, 2005 by Universal Pictures.
The Cast: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogan, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch.
Directed by Judd Apatow.

BASIC PREMISE: Andy (Carell),a 40-year old virgin, is pressured to have sex for the first time by his co-workers (Rudd,Malco, and Rogan), especially once he meets Trish (Keener).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Carell gives the most hilarious performance of his career as Andy, an eccentric, virgin loner. He is nerdy and naive, which becomes too creepy at times, but he is mostly likeable. Fundamentally, this movie has non-stop sex-related humor in the spirit of raunchy 80's movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Last American Virgin, Hot Dog: The Movie, and especially gross-out 90's movies like There's Something About Mary. Obviously, there are a few scenes that are uncomfortable to watch such as when Andy gets his chest hair waxed. However, because Carell has perfect comic timing, he makes that scene laugh-out-loud funny as he yells all sorts of vulgarities. Everyone in this movie is perverse--even Andy's boss (Lynch) who offers him an open invitation to lose his virginity. Then there's a freaky woman (Banks) he meets by just asking a lot of questions. Keener is perfectly cast as Trish, who is a more laid-back and sweet woman who also happens to be a grandmother--a hot grandmother, though. When Andy meets her, the real questions are will be able to hide the fact that he is a virgin from her? and how will she react if she finds out? There's a hilarious scene as he tries to put on condoms unsuccessfully, while blowing them up like balloons, and then Trish's 16 year-old daughter walks in and gets the wrong idea. Sure, the ending is very predictable and contrived, but who cares? This movie is meant to generate laughs and it achieves certainly works hard to achieve that--especially with the ratings. Besides Carell, there is no other actor who could pull of such a convincing, hysterically-funny performance.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: There is not a lot to think about other than whether love is more valuable than sex or vice-versa. It doesn't give any profound answers, but none are needed nor expected. The high comic energy is contagious and the ending is very satisfying.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: At one point, Andy crashes right through the side of a truck on his bike and lands without any serious injuries on the street--not realistic at all. There are more examples of unrealistic scenes, but this movie is purely designed to entertain. Suspension of disbelief is a must in order to enjoy it.


THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a high-testosterone, raunchy comedy. It is perfectly cast and, fortunately, succeeds in what it sets out to do from the start by simply making you laugh. It will be as big at the box office as There's Something About Mary. Sex certainly does sell!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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