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The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
Rated R

Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, and Paul Rudd

Rating:
****
out of
*****

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a man who's let his bad experiences with women at a young age keep him from ever having intimate relations with them. Living alone in his apartment, surrounded by video games and collectible action figures, Andy spends his nights painting war figurines and singing karaoke to himself. His job, as a stock supervisor at a Circuit City-like store, isn't particularly fulfilling. But he seems happy until the word about his "condition" gets out to his co-workers, who make it their business to get Andy laid.

Their efforts are confused somewhat by the conflicting advice they all give Andy at once. The problem is that each of his friends have their own "conditions" that they're trying to help Andy avoid. David (Paul Rudd) has remained in love with his ex-girlfriend even though they've been broken up for over two years. Jay (Romany Malco) has a girlfriend but seems unable to resist cheating on her. Cal (Seth Rogen) has such advice as "date drunks" and "just ask a woman questions because they only like to talk about themselves." Also not helping things is Trish (Catherine Keener), a woman Andy meets in the store who he actually has feelings for but can't muster up the courage to ask out.

In a year that seems to be the second coming of the R-rated comedy, The 40 Year Old Virgin contains a plethora of crude, gross-out humor but rather than letting it be the movie's only source of chuckles, there's a definite sweet and romantic side to the film as well. It helps that Steve Carell plays Andy's confused and awkward scenes in a way that comes across as particularly genuine. He's not portrayed as stupid, just awkward in the ways of the opposite sex.

Catherine Keener and Carell have a definite chemistry and that helps their scenes immensely. Once Andy and Trish do have a date, their relationship doesn't follow the usual path of a on-screen dating cycle. That too is a relief.

While it's just a little too long, The 40 Year Old Virgin is certainly worth seeing and its definitely a movie that will appeal to male and female audiences alike. Steve Carell may be moving into the same arena as Will Farrell as a comedian who's able to carry a film on his performances alone.

Trivia: The scene where Andy has his chest hair removed, required five cameras set up for the shot. Star Steve Carell's chest hair was actually ripped out in the scene. The actor had told director Judd Apatow just before shooting the scene: "It has to be real. It won't be as funny if it's mocked up or if it's special effect. You have to see that this is really happening." (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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