Reviews

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

3

During an after-hours poker game, with banter-a-flowing and the talk turning to sex, the staff at a tech store discover their geeky friend Andy (Steve Carell) is still a virgin at 40. Being the genuine pals they are, they take it upon themselves to fast-track our unviolated hero to Beaver City to make life really begin at 40...

It's yak-yaks and yucks in equal measure as Andy sets about looking for love in all the wrong places. But it's only when he bumbles his way to single mum Trish (Catherine Keener) that a touching romantic comedy blossoms amongst the gutteral slanging.

Carell is a likeable and comedy-louche anti-hero, who milks the slapstick with infectious sympathy. As the Waxing Doc featurette shows, many of the more memorable scenes were improvised. When Andy has his chest-fuzz stripped away Carell is barely acting at all. Never mind poncey, Method-style weight gain/loss: this is suffering for your art...

 

The commentaries are fun but work more as laughter tracks, with much cast and crew guffawing and in-joking. Best are the unedited improvs and risqué cut dialogue. Whoever made the call to scrap, "When you feel a woman's breasts, and they're like... they feel like a bag of sand" should undergo forced abstinence for, ooh, 40 years.

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