The 40-Year Old Virgin

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a 40-year-old virgin who is involuntarily celibate. He lives alone, and is somewhat childlike and collects action figures, plays video games, and his social life seems to consist of watching Survivor with his elderly neighbors. He works in the stockroom at an electronics store called SmartTech. When a friend drops out of a poker game, Andy’s co-workers David (Paul Rudd), Cal (Seth Rogen), and Jay (Romany Malco) reluctantly invite Andy to join them. At the game (which he wins, due to playing online poker constantly), when conversation turns to past sexual exploits, Andy desperately makes up a story, but when he compares the feel of a woman’s breast to a “bag of sand”, he is forced to admit his virginity.

Feeling sorry for him (but also generally mocking him), the group resolves to help Andy lose his virginity. Throughout the next several days, the gang’s efforts prove to be unsuccessful, partly because all three men give Andy different and sometimes contradictory advice. They take him to have his chest waxed. Cal advises Andy to simply ask questions when talking to women, which makes Andy seem mysterious. His advice proves to be the most helpful, when Beth (Elizabeth Banks), a bookstore clerk, takes a liking to Andy. Andy starts to open up, and begins to form true friendships with his co-workers. David continues to obsess over his ex-girlfriend, Amy (Mindy Kaling). After meeting her unexpectedly during a speed-dating event attended by the group, he has an emotional breakdown while making a sale and is subsequently sent home by store manager Paula (Jane Lynch), who promotes Andy to fill in for him.

Jay, seeing Andy’s continued reluctance to approach female customers, attempts to force the issue by hiring Andy a prostitute. When Andy discovers that Jay has inadvertently hired a transvestite, he is prompted to confront his friends, and tells them that he is taking matters into his own hands. Andy lands a date with Trish Piedmont (Catherine Keener), a woman he met on the sales floor who owns a store across the street. After Andy and Trish’s first date, in which they are interrupted by Trish’s teenage daughter Marla (Kat Dennings) as they are about to have sex, Andy decides to tell Trish he is a virgin. Before he can tell her, Trish suggests that they postpone having sex, to which Andy enthusiastically agrees; they decide they won’t have sex until their twentieth date. Meanwhile, Paula is impressed by Andy’s salesmanship and promotes him to floor manager.

As Andy draws closer to his twentieth date with Trish, his friends begin to deal with the consequences of their lifestyles. David, still spiraling in his obsession with Amy, has become disillusioned with sex and has taken a vow of celibacy, prompting Cal to lure him out by hiring an attractive young woman named Bernadette (Marika Dominczyk) to work in the stockroom. After overreacting during an argument with an obnoxious customer (Kevin Hart), Jay reveals that his girlfriend Jill broke up with him after learning he had been cheating on her. Andy comforts Jay, who says that sex can ruin a relationship. Jill later decides to take Jay back (she is pregnant, and her misgivings about Jay as a father figure were what had spurred the breakup). Andy and Trish’s relationship grows, and Trish suggests that Andy sell his collectible action figures in order to raise enough money to open his own store.

When they finally reach the twentieth date, Andy is still reluctant and resists Trish, upsetting her. An argument ensues, in which Andy accuses Trish of pushing him into changing his life against his will, and Andy leaves for the nightclub where Jay is celebrating his girlfriend’s pregnancy. He quickly gets drunk, and after running into Beth, leaves for her apartment with her. Meanwhile, David finally relinquishes his celibacy and hooks up with Bernadette, and Trish’s daughter Marla convinces her to go and make up with Andy. By this time Andy has sobered up and, after witnessing Beth’s methods of foreplay, he starts to have second thoughts. As Andy is leaving her bathroom, he finds his friends waiting outside, having followed to warn him about Beth and encourage him to go back to Trish. They leave together (except for Cal), and Andy returns to his apartment, where he finds Trish waiting for him.

He attempts to apologize, but Trish, having found myriad suspicious belongings in his apartment, now thinks that Andy may be some sort of sexual deviant. Andy tries to convince her otherwise and declares his love for her, but she leaves in alarm and disgust. Andy chases after her on his bike, but at the moment of intercepting her, he collides with her car and flies headlong into the side of a truck. Trish rushes to his side in concern, and he finally confesses to her that he is a virgin. She is surprised to learn that this is the reason behind his strange behavior, as she does not consider it to be important, and they kiss. Later, Andy and Trish are married in a lavish ceremony with everyone in attendance, with a sidelong mention of Andy’s action figures having sold for approximately half a million dollars. Afterwards, they consummate the marriage, ending Andy’s status as a virgin. They celebrate in a musical scene where the characters sing and dance to “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”.

REVIEW:

What is it about guys’ virginity and/or celibacy that is so appealing to audiences? Before this film, The 40-Year Old Virgin, we had 30 Days and 30 Nights. It isn’t just the guys, either. I saw a commercial the other day for a show currently on TV about a girl who is a virgin and somehow got pregnant. So, maybe there is something to this topic, perhaps. Let’s take a look at this film, shall we?

What is this about?

At age 40, Andy Stitzer has a pleasant life, but there’s one thing he hasn’t done — so his sex-obsessed coworkers make it their mission to help get him laid. But it all seems hopeless until Andy meets small business owner Trish, a single mom.

What did I like?

Cast. At the time this was released, many of these stars were still up and coming. As a matter of fact, almost all of them have this film to thank for their big breakthrough. Names like Steve Carrell, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, a small cameo by Leslie Mann, and a young Kat Dennings all make appearances that are quite memorable. For me, Dennings’ was the one who stuck with me, partially because of my huge crush on her. Ha!

Weed sprung up. Still speaking on the cast, Romany Malco’s character might have very well been the most intriguing because of his relationship with his wife, his cheating ways, and the way he treats Carell’s character. At first he seems like he is going to be his best friend, then he starts to treat him as a nuisance, and ends up not quite as a friend, but not an enemy either, just a sort of colleague, I suppose. Quite interesting to see his character develop over the course of the film. Too bad we didn’t get more of him, though.

“Ah! Kelly Clarkson!” I don’t need to tell you that the best scene in this movie is when Carell is getting waxed and yelling out all different sorts of exclamations, such as “Ah! Kelly Clarkson!” I remember hearing or reading somewhere that the scene was done for real and in one take. Talk about dedication to your craft. Everytime I see this scene, I wince in pain. You couldn’t pay me to have hair ripped off of me like that. Ouch!

What didn’t I like?

Bad choice. I know that Carell’s character hasn’t exactly had the best of luck with women in his life, hence the reason he’s 40 years old, single, and still a virgin, even if the girls he was with in college were cuties. Still, I have to wonder what he saw in Catherine Keener over the likes of Elizabeth Banks. Sure, Keener is hot for a grandmother, but she looks like an overworked housewife who only has time for her kids and to somehow make it to the gym to workout. Elizabeth Banks on the other hand is downright gorgeous! I guess it just goes to show you that looks aren’t everything. Gosh, I hope this paragraph doesn’t come off sounding as fickle as I think it does.

The change. If there is one things us guys can’t stand it is for a woman to swoop in and try to change us. Guess what? That is exactly what Keener’s character does. She sees all the action figures and collectibles in Carell’s apartment and all but tells him he needs to sell them if he wants to keep her. Now, understand that this was released before the geeks inherited the earth, so collectibles and stuff were just “nerd stuff” and not something that more and more people were in to at the time. Still, a guy needs to have his own hobbies and what not, be it golf, watching football, playing video games, collecting random memorabilia, dressing up as 500 lb woman, etc. Keener’s character, and other women like her, need to get that idea through their thick skulls!

Age of Aquarius. I try not to get too annoyed when films end with a song and dance sequence. Sometimes they work very well, such as the American Idol parody sequence in Shrek 2, but other times they just come off as filler, as this “Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” sequence did. I would have been alright with it had they done and abridged version. That is to say, it started out kinda funny and clever, then it devolved into the same thing that we’ve all seen a million times over. Also, who wants to see a shirtless Seth Rogen tapping his belly?

I must say that The 40-Year Old Virgin did not live up to the hype everyone seems to have for this film. Outside of the waxing scene, I think there were maybe one or two other instances when I chuckled. The story is well written and the characters are decent enough. Perhaps it is just that I am still half asleep from the long day I had yesterday and wasn’t in the mood to watch this today, but I just couldn’t get into it. So, no, I do not recommend this.

3 out of 5 stars

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