The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

2005, R, 116 min. Directed by Judd Apatow. Starring Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob, Shelley Malil.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Aug. 19, 2005

Surely The 40-Year-Old Virgin has broken some Guinness record: The first boner joke clocks in at under a minute, in which stereo-equipment salesman Andy Stitzer (Carell) wakes up with morning wood. It’s certainly not his first (in a state of arrested adolescence, Andy doesn’t know how to drive a car and spends most nights cuddling up to his game console), and it won’t be his last in this amiable comedy that chronicles Andy’s fumbling attempts to finally get in the game. Schooling Andy in their crude brand of seduction – Lesson No. 1: Go for the drunk girls – are three coworkers (played by Malco, Rogen, and Rudd). It comes as no great shock that these three lugs – loud proponents of the "lay ’em and leave ’em" philosophy – end up learning a thing or two about love and intimacy from the newbie. What is a surprise, however, is how genuinely good-hearted The 40-Year-Old Virgin plays out. Credit that achievement to director and co-writer Judd Apatow (Freaks & Geeks) and his star (and co-writer), former Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell. In his first leading-man role, Carell expands upon the titular premise to create a full-blooded, complex character who is appealingly earnest and willing to plumb a pain in Andy that extends beyond his morning menace (his scenes with the always-entertaining Keener, as a potential love interest, are especially sweet). Ably backing him are the wisecracking coworkers; Rogen and Rudd, in particular, have a ridiculously funny exchange, one-upping "your mama" jokes to a "you know how I know you’re gay?" riff. The 40-Year-Old Virgin isn’t quite a home run: The visually flat film leans on a pop culture crutch that probably won’t age very well, and the finale – while terrifically funny – feels piped in from another, far sillier movie. Still, in the dog days of summer – and Hollywood’s unleashed quite a few dogs this season – The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a standout, a gross-out comedy that makes its audience go "awwww" as much as it goes "ewwww."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Judd Apatow Films
The King of Staten Island
Pete Davidson grows up a bit in this semi-autobiographical dramedy

Richard Whittaker, June 12, 2020

Trainwreck
Amy Schumer adds an X chromosome to Judd Apatow's usual raunchfest

Kimberley Jones, July 17, 2015

More by Kimberley Jones
We Have an Issue: Getting Into the Weeds
We Have an Issue: Getting Into the Weeds
Celebrate 420 with our dive into Luck Presents, cannabis culture and reform, and some locally made CBD products to mellow you right out

April 16, 2021

We Have an Issue: The Revolution Will Be Embroidered
We Have an Issue: The Revolution Will Be Embroidered
In this week’s cover story, Jessi Cape explores the resistance potential in cross stitch

April 9, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Judd Apatow, Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob, Shelley Malil

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle