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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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The 40 Year Old Virgin

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a guy who has found his place in the world. Andy has a small but comfortable apartment that is stocked with all manner of high tech electronics, as well as an impressive collection of valuable collectables.

Andy has a comfortable if not dynamic job managing inventory for a local electronics store as well as a group of co-workers who include Andy in their conversations.

Andy’s life takes an unexpected turn when it is revealed at an after hours poker game that he has never been with a woman in a physical way, making him a 40 year old virgin.

Shocked and amused, Andy’s co-workers make it their personal quest to get Andy fixed up and on with his life. Andy for the most part is not overly enthused as his past failures in dating and heavy petting have all ended in disaster causing him to forgo pursuing sex.

Andy takes this all in stride even when it results in some hilarious and often painful experiences ranging from chest waxing, to drunken woman intent on making Andy their pleasure toy. As the experiences go from one bizarre encounter after another, Andy becomes even more confused, especially when his co-workers continue to offer advice that seems less than practical.

During this time, Andy meets Trish (Catherine Keener), who works at a business across from the shop. Andy is unsure how to handle her openness but when persuaded, he realizes that she may indeed like him, and now it is time to put what he has been told into effect.

Playing it cool, Andy does not call right away, but after even more outrageous situations arise, Andy eventually calls Trish and they go out. Things go very well, that is until Andy is faced with situations he has never encountered and all of his life experiences have prepared him for what is to come next.

Directed by Judd Apatow, The 40 Year Old Virgin, is a comic triumph that is consistently funny throughout. Carell is fantastic as he shows that he is a true comic talent that has arrived after his scene stealing performances in “Bruce Almighty”, and “Anchorman”.

The film is very crude and raunchy, but unlike the recent Deuce Bigalow film, there is a sincerity and charm about the films that puts the debauchery in context. This is not a film that throws gross situations at you for shock value, they are included as a natural part of the story and as part of the characters lives.

While some may balk at this, it is important to remember that in a film that deals with single men and sex, in many ways this film could actually be seen as restrained in how the characters discuss and deal with the topics and situations.

That being said, the film is a true work of genius and should launch Carell as the next great comic actor. His ability to blend physical and subtle comedy is amazing as his ability to portray Andy as a sympathetic and understandable character is truly amazing. Talent such as his only comes along once in a great while and thankfully the 42 year old Carell is finally getting a chance to shine. If you love to laugh and do not mind crude humor, do not miss this film.

4.5 stars out of 5


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