THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN || 2005, USA || Comedy || Directed by – Judd Apatow / Written by – Judd Apatow, Steve Carell / Produced by – Judd Apatow, Steve Carell, Andrew Jay Cohen, Jon Poll, Shauna Robertson, Seth Rogen, Clayton Townsend / Music by – Lyle Workman / Cinematography by – Jack N. Green / Editing by – Brent White / Production design by – Jackson De Govia / Starring – Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch / Running time: 116 mins.
The title pretty much says it all. The 40 Year Old Virgin is a film about a group of co-workers and friends whose life mission becomes helping one of them lose their virginity. Despite the premise, which would indeed seem to be as silly as it comes, there is no doubt that seeing a group of “mature men” involved in what would usually be a campy teen storyline is unusual and interesting in its own right. However, what is truly surprising is that despite said campy nature, Judd Apadtow is rather skilled in allowing an acceptable degree of sensibility to his character and the theme to the film – and even more surprising with the romantic side of the movie.
Nevertheless, truth be told, the most delightful element of the film is Steve Carrell, in his first leading male role in a comedy vehicle following his breakout success as the star of the US version of popular sitcom The Office. He is simply excellent, his straighfaced abilities at delivering the most ridiculous of lines, his grown man’s hopeless childishness and innocence and his overall underlying sensitivity gives him a rather distinctive personality that is the true driving force of the full film.
Needless to say, there are limitations in The 40 Year Old Virgin, not least of all the usual dishonest ending which is particularly obnoxious with its random musical finale that almost single handedly spoils anything else that was good and proper in the film. But it certainly beats a lot of other similar works. – 4/5