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40-Year-Old Virgin (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell who has a co-writing credit) is, as the title implies, a 40 year old who has never had sex, which is apparently a grievous sin in this society. Not only has he evidently not even had a meaningful conversation with a woman, he knows nothing about them. This, in itself, doesnít really set him apart from any other man I know, regardless of how sexually experienced he might be. Having sex with a woman doesnít really teach a man anything about her and the way she reasons, which remains a mystery. That women are inscrutable only begins to describe this male enigma. But Andyís associates, being sexually experienced, think they know more about women than Andy, so they set out to help him get his virginity terminated.

While this is a clever concept, this film appeals to gross values, substituting vulgar, tasteless incidents for wit and intelligence as Andy stumbles along. It would be possible to tell this story from the high road using subtle wit and innuendo, but that was beyond Carell.

However, along the way Andy does get some good advice from his buddies. While they are preparing him to deal with women, he is told, ďDonít ever talk about yourself. Women arenít interested in you. All they are interested in is themselves, so just ask them questions about themselves.Ē This is meant to be funny, but as any bachelor forced into the dating world knows, itís dead on. Middle-aged single women have about as much interest in anything her date says or does or believes as they do in learning what a pulling guard is. The parts of the film showing Andy interfacing with women by turning everything they say or ask him into a question are amusing. If only the rest of the film were as clever.

Degraded by its blatant vulgarity, itís far too long at just under two hours. It does have some funny moments, but they are counterbalanced by juvenile use of coarse language and situations. Watching someone vomit all over the face of someone else is not something I find funny or entertaining.

Despite its few humorous moments, it is too long and too corrupted by its crudity to be anything I could recommend to anyone other than the jerks in beer commercials.