Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Written by: Judd Apatow and Steve Carell
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson and Clayton Townsend
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Rent it
Steve Carell is quickly becoming a huge star and I'm completely fine with that. I hope he becomes one of those comedians who joins the $20-million paycheck club, because he is funnier than Jim Carrey, makes me laugh much more than Will Ferrell and kicks Mike Myer's (put whatever you want here). He stole the show as a snotty reporter in Bruce Almighty, was the only funny actor in the abysmal Anchorman and is probably the reason that the new American version of The Office works. The 40 Year Old Virgin, his breakout hit is funny, but that's mainly due to his participation as an actor and co-writer. Overall, people had better tastes in the summer of 2005 choosing to pay tickets for this instead of one of the most critically panned films of the year, Rob Schneider's Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalow. Kudos to intelligent audience members. They have finally become clever when choosing what to see on a Saturday night.
Andy (Steve Carell) is the title virgin and works at a Circuit City-type electornics shop. After his buddies (Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco) find out that he has never had sex, they decide to try and help him lose his virginity. After a terrible meeting with a drunk girl at a night club, he decides to lay off getting it on with a woman for a while. He then meets Trish (Catherine Keener), a woman about his age who owns a store that sells things on eBay. He likes her and they start dating. They also set a 20-date rule in which they have sex for the first time when they get past twenty dates.
The 40 Year Old Virgin is a vulgar and funny film, but it is also a very sweet story. We connect with Andy and we like him. However, he is the only character we do like, because his friends appear to be complete sex hounds who only think about him getting into a bed with a woman instead of his feelings. This is one of the flaws of the film. Many gags are created for no reason (like the famous chest-waxing scene) because of the characters that we start to despise. The only scenes that I liked a lot were ones involving just Andy or scenes with both Andy and Trish. I have never seen the version shown in cinemas and it is unfortunate that this is the only copy of the film to be found in mainstream DVD shops. Still, it presents Steve Carell with a great performance and a sweet subplot and earns itself a "B" grade. The video on the DVD looks really good and doesn't present a lot of problems and gets a "A" which is also given to the wonderful sound on the disc. We can hear the dialogue and countless songs very well.
The DVD for The 40 Year Old Virgin opens up with advertisements for American Pie: Band Camp, Undeclared and The 2006 Olympic Games. You can go straight to the main menu any time during these previews. The real special features start with an audio commentary with director/writer Judd Apatow, writer/star Steve Carell and actors Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Romany Malco, Gerry Bednob, Shelley Malil and Jonah Hill. It's a fun commentary despite so many people involved. They talk about Carell's idea for the film as well as their own sexual experiences. It's fun and informative at the same time. There are also a total of six deleted scenes, all of which I'm glad didn't make into the final cut. Although, I did find the final part of the last scene (a full version of Andy's meeting with the prostitute) very funny and they could have put that in somehow. Apatow and Roger provide very amusing commentaries for these scenes and explain why they were cut out.
Those are then followed by four alternate and extended scenes which for some reason are separate and aren't given their own section like the deleted scenes. However, they are fun and Apatow and Rogen provide great commentaries for the first three scenes. Next is a "Waxing Doc" which showing the filming of the chest waxing scene. Carell provides some nice points about how he thinks it's a great idea to do it live, but then later regrets it. "Date-a-Palooza" is another extended scene that features a lot of amusing parts, although it sometimes repeats things already in the main feature.
The "Line-O-Rama" shows alternate versions of different lines and shows that Apatow chose some improve masters to be in the film. It's a very amusing montage of clips. "My Date with Stormy" is somewhat pointless and just shows Rogen meeting with one of the porn stars that appears in the film. Finally, a Gag Reel much like the "Line-O-Rama" clip montage ends the disc on a great note. So, while I would have liked more behind-the-scenes featurettes, we are treated to some great commentaries and some funny extended scenes. The extras on this disc gets a "B+" grade.
While The 40 Year Old Virgin is not the comedy classic I've heard people calling it, it's still a nice flick. I just rent it first before you decide to purchase it, though.