40-Year-Old Virgin directed by Judd Apatow

IMDb link

Steve Carell has a Will Farrell type of stranglehold on American comedy. I don’t watch “The Office,??? so I’m missing part of it.

This movie had me laughing out loud in certain sections. I identified with a lot of Andy’s (Steve Carell) angst; with his habits; with his hobbies. I have a Barbie doll collection. I love to play RPGs and board games. I have tremendous respect for the opposite sex.

A few of the scenes were a little too close to home. Unlike Fear of Girls, I felt that the director was poking fun at a group he didn’t understand, not engaging in amusing self-flagellation. Most difficult for me were the scenes depicting miniature painting, a hobby I’ve really started to enjoy in the past 18 months. He’s talking to the mini like it’s a real person. It infantilized something that takes skill and lots of patience. Portrayed correctly, it could have shown his immersion in a geeky hobby and highlighted his ability to be patient.

I was QUITE amused by the big box electronics store jokes, because one of my friends works for such a retailer. I wonder how much of it hurts him to watch because it’s too true.

Anyway, I did like that they portrayed the complex nature of sexuality. First, Andy (the virgin) is not just a person who’s been unlucky in love. He also feels truly respectful of women and dislikes how his coworkers talk about women. He tries to fit with them but is extremely uncomfortable- both with lying and with the disrespect. He does have some serious anxiety about sex, but lots of people do!

And Andy isn’t the only person with sexual hang-ups. His coworker David (Paul Rudd) is unable to cope with a breakup, mostly because he misses the sex. Another coworker, Jay (Romany Malco), nearly loses the love of his life because of his dalliances. Jay realizes he put sex in front of true love and regrets it; David refuses to see that he is wasting away over the past. In contrast, Andy is relatively healthy! It underscores the fact that our culture spends so much time and money on sexuality that we lose sight of everything else. This singlemindedness leads to people who lack true substance beyond sex, a gift that has lost its importance through cultural oversaturation.

I won’t ruin the ending, but I liked it.
It wasn’t intentional, and maybe Carlton was in a comedic mood when he put movies in our Netflix queue, but I keep seeing comedies. I’m growing bored of the Farrelly brothers-style comedy. Here was a movie with some really good content that is ruined by some overly juvenile sight gags. There were a few scenes that could have been cut with no ill effect to the movie, either comedically or plotwise.

Here’s a thought: if the sight gag requires a prosthetic, I’m not going to find it funny. That said, I liked the movie’s themes and thought it was very well acted.

[rate 2.5]