This week’s reviews have included several that focus on young adult male escapades, most within the confines of fraternity houses. The topic of juvenile male behavior persisting into adulthood is a often found in comedies. One of the more sensitive treatments of this theme comes in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which is directed by Judd Apatow and was released in 2005.
“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” stars Steve Carrell as Andy, a forty year old able to take care of himself as an adult but still firmly rooted in adolescent interests. He supports himself by working as a stock supervisor at an electronics store. But his many hobbies, such as collecting action figures and playing video games, are more in line with those of a 12 year-old. One evening, as he is playing poker with some of the other store employees, Andy reluctantly admits that his sexual status is also commensurate with a young teenager’s, he is still a virgin. His coworkers, such as Cal (played by Seth Rogen), Jay (played by Romany Malco), and David (played by Paul Rudd) embark on a series of set-ups, as much designed for their entertainment as for their stated goal, the loss of Andy’s virginity. Needless to say, none of these is quite right. One day, Trish (played by Catherine Keener), an attractive single mother, comes into the store and Andy has the potential for an authentic adult relationship with an appealing woman.
“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is a very amusing film. One of the funniest scenes is when Andy gets a ride home with a drunk woman. Since he cannot drive a car, she has to do the driving.
Steve Carrell is perfect in the lead role. He is a geek, yet he is also likeable. Seth Rogen, Romany Malco, and Paul Rudd are all equally good as his friends. Although they are flawed, they are still sympathetic characters. Another great performance is by Jane Lynch, who plays Andy's boss. She offers him casual sex after learning he is a virgin.
“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” ranks among Judd Apatow’s best films.