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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2005!
Andy (Steve Carell) is a mild-mannered guy who collects comic books, movie paraphernalia, and video games. When his co-workers (Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen) discover that Andy has never had sex, they vow to do anything they can in order to help him meet women. Amongst all his sexual trials and travails, Andy meets a single mother (Catherine Keener) who just might be his soul mate.
Aside from its plentiful creative merits, this film is notable for two reasons: 1) it launched, or rather solidified, the career of its main actor Steve Carell, and 2) it launched, or rather solidified, the career of its writer/producer/director Judd Apatow.
The success of this movie led to the formation of the ďApatow Bunch,Ē a clique of funny people who make great movies together...movies that, collectively, have revitalized the comedy genre with their natural, hilarious dialogue and relatable situations. Apatow has become a brand name at this point, a guarantee that what you are about to see is very, very funny because it is very, very true.
Now, even though Judd Apatow has gone on to either direct or produce a number of films since(including KNOCKED UP, SUPERBAD, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS), this one remains my favorite. When pitted against a comedic gang as formidable as the aforementioned movies, thatís saying a lot.
It all boils down to three big reasons: 1) the entire cast is funny...the flick doesn't just depend on one person to carry it. Thatís not to say that Steve Carell doesn't play a compelling
I found it very easy to relate to this movie, and I'm not just saying that because my room is filled with action figures. ďVirgin" has a bit more going on than your average gut-buster. The main character's personality in particular feels a lot more fleshed out than those of most other comedic leads.
For starters, Steve Carell was pitch-perfect as the Virgin (note: if you like Steve Carell, then watch "The Office" if you havenít already; you will be instantly addicted). He was dorky, but in a completely likeable way. Moreover, the movie never really makes fun of him, but seems to be on his side. He's the definitive underdog, and Carell is funny enough, natural enough, and sympathetic enough to get us to root for him. As the movie progresses, we realize that Andy is akin to one of his action figures, scared to come out of his "original packaging" and interact with the real world. To put it bluntly, Andy is afraid of women...he feels understandably insecure around them due to his inexperience. This is why Catherine Keenerís Trish is such a breath of fresh air for our hapless Virgin; she represents a safe haven for him.
Speaking of which, Andyís relationship with Trish is handled very well, and the excellent writing is elevated by their effortless chemistry. When the inevitable "make it or break it" argument that always pops up in movies that deal with relationships comes about, it doesn't erupt from a "misunderstanding" that could easily be cleared up with a simple explanation. Instead, it stems from these people's genuine fear of getting hurt, and the only way for them to get past it is by trusting each other.
Yes, I was initially surprised by the depth that this movie contains...keep in mind that it is subtle insight, but nonetheless, it's there. The movie just "gets" its characters, because they are all based on real personalities. All of these characters exist in your world to some degree, I'm sure. Even Andy's friends, who could have been written off as mere comic relief, are well developed. We learn a lot about them, through the things they say and do. They interact and tease each other just like real guys do. Their female nipple discussion and "calling each other gay" scenes especially hit home. Guys do really talk/joke about that stuff.
Not to say that this movie is all about depth and the human condition...it's also freakin' hilarious! The picture has some really funny scenes that caused me to hyperventilate the first time I saw it (the chest-waxing scene comes to mind). Not only that, it also has a plethora of smaller moments scattered throughout that are just as funny, but not as broad, and I always find such attention to detail impressive in comedies. For example, the Farrelly Brothers ("Dumb and Dumber," "Thereís Something About Mary") adhere to this style of comedy, i.e. they mix the small in with the big. Even the "minor" scenes in their films have some humor in them, be it a small slapstick moment or snippet of dialogue, which makes the movie about more than just the big comedic set pieces. In the same fashion, humor is interlaced throughout every scene in "Virgin," which obviously shows that a lot of thought went into its conception.
The 40 Year Old Virgin is not only a great raunchy comedy; itís also an insightful one, to boot. It will tug at your heartstrings. It might make you reassess your life. It will tickle your funny bone...actually, it might even shatter it. It has the best of both worlds; thus, it is undoubtedly one of the best comedies of all time.