Monday, September 05, 2005

THE FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN - a surprisingly sweet comedy

I have a tremendous affection for the new comedy THE FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN. It pulls of the rare trick of combining fairly explicit frat-boy humour with the more sympathetic touch-feely quality of a straightforward romantic comedy. The story is simple: a bunch of guys work in an electrical retailer. One day the guys find out that one of the team, Andy Sitzer (played brilliantly by Steve Carrell) is a forty-year old virgin. This prompts them to “lay down the knowledge” on him and try to get him laid. However, Andy is a fundamentally decent guy and manages to form a relationship with a cool woman who works across the street (played by the ever-brilliant Catherine Keener.) That’s pretty much it. Along the way, we have a lot of out-and-out physical comedy, some wry observational comedy and a warm fuzzy feeling. Kudos to writer-director Judd Apatow for coming with such a finely balanced script (in conjunction with Carrell.) Kudos to Carrell and Keener for creating a genuinely feel-good movie. And kudos to the talented ensemble cast, including Paul Rudd, Jane Lynch, Romany Malco and Seth Rogen. So, I implore you, do not be put off by the explicit title to this movie. It is far sweeter than the title implies.

THE FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN is on release in the US and UK. It goes on release in Germany on September 29th 2005, in Austria on October 5th and in France on November 9th.

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