Sunday, August 27, 2006

Movie review: The 40-Year Old Virgin

As I watched this movie (on cable) I realized that I just don't think Steve Carell is funny. I don't like his character in The Office and while I felt somewhat sympathetic with his character's plight in Virgin, I just didn't think the movie was funny. It could have been. Maybe.

Andy Stitzer is 40 years old. He doesn't live with his parents (one cliche avoided) and he does have a real job at a tech store modeled after The Good Guys or Circuit City. But he rides his bike to work, collects action figures, and plays video games. He doesn't have any ambition. He doesn't have any real friends.

Desperate to make up a complete table for poker night, three guys at work invite him. He admits to being a virgin, which is, of course, unbelievable. And he cannot be allowed to stay that way. So the guys decide to "help" him. Of course, one is cheating on his girlfriend, one is pining away for a girl he broke up with two years ago, and the third is just plain weird. Of course, none of their suggestions work.

Meanwhile, Andy meets the owner of the E-Bay store across the street. She finds him cute and gives him her number. Is she the one who will finally relieve Andy of the Curse of His Virginity? Will he admit that he's a virgin?

There is one funny scene where he's trying to put a condom on, with no success. And the woman's daughter walks in.

There's one heartfelt scene where the woman tells Andy that he collects toys, rides a bike, and has a dead-end job--when is he going to grow up? But the movie ignores it. Why does Andy ride a bike? And not a high-end road bike, but, really, a balloon tire kid's bike. Why is he just the stock supervisor? He reluctantly agrees to be a salesman and we're told he's doing better than the rest of the guys, he "has the best numbers." But since we never see him selling, we don't know if that's true or if it's the store manager's way of making a play for him.

And the scene at the Health Clinic was painful to watch.

Instead of really looking at the values of remaining a virgin versus playing the field, the movie ignores them all. Andy's gentlemanly ways are derided and played for crude laughs. Frankly, I thought The Wedding Crashers made many of the same points about sex versus commitment with more subtlety and humor (even gross humor) than this movie.

Or maybe I just find Owen Wilson funnier than Steve Carell.

On the March Hare scale: 1 out of 5 Golden Tickets.