The 40-Year Old Virgin: Better Late Than Never (2005)

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Comedy, Romance

Andy has a fairly solitary life but knows there is something missing. When a poker game with his co-workers leads to a talk about sexual conquest, he finds himself in a tough spot. Though he feels embarrassed about his lack of experience, David, Jay and Cal are determined to help him get past his first time. Included on the agenda of methods to get Andy’s first score are an image makeover, practice in different locations and recommendations on how to talk to women. While all of these efforts are taking place, Andy meets Trish, owner of the eBay store. He slowly starts to build up the courage to talk to her and ends up on a date. While the dinner goes really well, the first night does not. The two make a decision to go without sex for 20 dates, giving Andy the time to build up the confidence to climb into bed. While juggling his feelings for Trish and still going out with the guys to learn about how to approach women, Andy has to make the decision about what he values more: sex or love.

Starring: Steve Carrel (Andy), Catherine Keener (Trish), Paul Rudd (David), Romany Malco (Jay), Seth Rogan (Cal), Elizabeth Banks (Beth), Leslie Mann (Nicky), Jane Lynch (Paula), Gerry Bednob (Mooj), Kat Dennings (Marla), Jordan Masterson (Mark), Jonah Hill (eBay Customer), Chelsea Smith (Julia)

The cast of this film includes a number of actors whose careers were launched to greater heights due to the movie’s success. Steve Carell had served as a supporting cast member in a few hit films but this movie spotlighted his ability to exhibit comedic timing. He comes off as a reserved, kind man who just has never figured out how to be around women. He is funny without having to make himself seem unbelievable. Catherine Keener serves well as Carell’s love interest and she maintains a very sweet, motherly persona and complements Carell’s kinder personality. Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and Romany Malco each contribute to the humorous dialogue and the egging on of Carell to find his first conquest. Rudd is more the romantic who wants to see Carell find something a little more than sex, Rogen is the confident but crude one-night stand guy and Romany is the player who tries to balance a relationship with sex on the side. Elizabeth Banks and Leslie Mann serve as two of the women Carell tries to go after with varied success. Banks is more open and willing to give Carell a chance, while Mann is more fueled by alcohol. Jane Lynch and Gerry Bednob provide additional comedic support through a series of awkward interactions at the electronics store.

Judd Apatow is well known for comedic success throughout the 2000s. The 40-Year Old Virgin serves as a snapshot into a lesser discussed world of sexual confusion. Most films that highlight challenges in the love and sex department tend to be focused on teenagers, but this film looks at the mid-aged dork community and expands on the journey of finding how to meet someone and sustain a relationship. Andy is oblivious to what he is missing until the night with the poker game. While he is juggling a relationship and further learning about interpersonal relationships, he honestly is more committed to what he is learning through the experiences with Trish and her kids. When it comes to the idea of sex, he may put “it” on a pedestal but is willing to do what many guys will not, delay sex to explore the opportunity for a meaningful relationship.

The comedy of this film is what makes it such a success, though the story is fun to watch as well. The writing is certainly one area of success, while some total scenes are simply unforgettable. During the interactions between Andy and Mooj (Bednob), Andy learns about much more related to sex than the simple act by the way Mooj lists all of the different ways sex may take place. Similarly, Paula (Lynch) creates some comedic discomfort through her pursuit of sex with Andy, exclaiming that she is well versed in how to please a man. When Andy goes through the speed dating experience, he meets a number of interesting women but the drama between David (Rudd) and his former girlfriend, Amy, certainly is funny to watch. Toss in the scene after Andy’s first time having sex and the movie is a total good time.

Surprisingly, there is quite a bit of crude language but not so much in the visual perspective. The film includes some great comedic acting and will keeping viewers laughing time after time.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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