The 40-Year-Old Virgin

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The 40-Year-Old Virgin
40-Year-OldVirginMoviePoster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Judd Apatow
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by Lyle Workman
Cinematography Jack Green
Edited by Brent White
Production
  company
Apatow
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
  • August 11, 2005 (2005-08-11) (Los Angeles premiere)
  • August 19, 2005 (2005-08-19) (United States)
Running time 116 minutes
133 minutes (unrated version)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $26 million[1]
Box office $177,378,645[1]

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 American romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Judd Apatow, about a middle-aged man's journey to finally have sex. It was co-written by its star, Steve Carell, though it features a great deal of improvised dialogue.[2] The film was released theatrically in North America on August 19, 2005 and was released on region 1 DVD on December 13, 2005.[3]

Plot[edit]

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a 40-year-old virgin who is involuntarily celibate. He lives alone, and is somewhat childlike and collects action figures, plays video games, and his social life seems to consist of watching Survivor with his elderly neighbors. He works in the stockroom at an electronics store called SmartTech. When a friend drops out of a poker game, Andy's co-workers David (Paul Rudd), Cal (Seth Rogen), and Jay (Romany Malco) reluctantly invite Andy to join them. At the game (which he wins, due to playing online poker constantly), when conversation turns to past sexual exploits, Andy desperately makes up a story, but when he compares the feel of a woman's breast to a "bag of sand", he is forced to admit his virginity.

Feeling sorry for him (but also generally mocking him), the group resolves to help Andy lose his virginity. Throughout the next several days, the gang’s efforts prove to be unsuccessful, partly because all three men give Andy different and sometimes contradictory advice. They take him to have his chest waxed. Cal advises Andy to simply ask questions when talking to women, which makes Andy seem mysterious. His advice proves to be the most helpful, when Beth (Elizabeth Banks), a bookstore clerk, takes a liking to Andy. Andy starts to open up, and begins to form true friendships with his co-workers. David continues to obsess over his ex-girlfriend, Amy (Mindy Kaling). After meeting her unexpectedly during a speed-dating event attended by the group, he has an emotional breakdown while making a sale and is subsequently sent home by store manager Paula (Jane Lynch), who promotes Andy to fill in for him.

Jay, seeing Andy's continued reluctance to approach female customers, attempts to force the issue by hiring Andy a prostitute. When Andy discovers that Jay has inadvertently hired a transvestite, he is prompted to confront his friends, and tells them that he is taking matters into his own hands. Andy lands a date with Trish Piedmont (Catherine Keener), a woman he met on the sales floor who owns a store across the street. After Andy and Trish's first date, in which they are interrupted by Trish’s teenage daughter Marla (Kat Dennings) as they are about to have sex, Andy decides to tell Trish he is a virgin. Before he can tell her, Trish suggests that they postpone having sex, to which Andy enthusiastically agrees; they decide they won’t have sex until their twentieth date. Meanwhile, Paula is impressed by Andy's salesmanship and promotes him to floor manager.

As Andy draws closer to his twentieth date with Trish, his friends begin to deal with the consequences of their lifestyles. David, still spiraling in his obsession with Amy, has become disillusioned with sex and has taken a vow of celibacy, prompting Cal to lure him out by hiring an attractive young woman named Bernadette (Marika Dominczyk) to work in the stockroom. After overreacting during an argument with an obnoxious customer (Kevin Hart), Jay reveals that his girlfriend Jill broke up with him after learning he had been cheating on her. Andy comforts Jay, who says that sex can ruin a relationship. Jill later decides to take Jay back (she is pregnant, and her misgivings about Jay as a father figure were what had spurred the breakup). Andy and Trish’s relationship grows, and Trish suggests that Andy sell his collectible action figures in order to raise enough money to open his own store.

When they finally reach the twentieth date, Andy is still reluctant and resists Trish, upsetting her. An argument ensues, in which Andy accuses Trish of pushing him into changing his life against his will, and Andy leaves for the nightclub where Jay is celebrating his girlfriend’s pregnancy. He quickly gets drunk, and after running into Beth, leaves for her apartment with her. Meanwhile, David finally relinquishes his celibacy and hooks up with Bernadette, and Trish’s daughter Marla convinces her to go and make up with Andy. By this time Andy has sobered up and, after witnessing Beth's methods of foreplay, he starts to have second thoughts. As Andy is leaving her bathroom, he finds his friends waiting outside, having followed to warn him about Beth and encourage him to go back to Trish. They leave together (except for Cal), and Andy returns to his apartment, where he finds Trish waiting for him.

He attempts to apologize, but Trish, having found myriad suspicious belongings in his apartment, now thinks that Andy may be some sort of sexual deviant. Andy tries to convince her otherwise and declares his love for her, but she leaves in alarm and disgust. Andy chases after her on his bike, but at the moment of intercepting her, he collides with her car and flies headlong into the side of a truck. Trish rushes to his side in concern, and he finally confesses to her that he is a virgin. She is surprised to learn that this is the reason behind his strange behavior, as she does not consider it to be important, and they kiss. Later, Andy and Trish are married in a lavish ceremony with everyone in attendance, with a sidelong mention of Andy's action figures having sold for approximately half a million dollars. Afterwards, they consummate the marriage, ending Andy's status as a virgin. They celebrate in a musical scene where the characters sing and dance to "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In".

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The 40-Year-Old Virgin was met with positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 85% based on reviews from 160 critics.[4] At Metacritic, the film scored a 73/100 rating based on reviews from 35 critics, indicating "generally positive" reviews.[5] Rotten Tomatoes declared it the "Best Reviewed Comedy of 2005".[6]

Ebert and Roeper gave the film a "two thumbs up" rating. Roger Ebert said, "I was surprised by how funny, how sweet, and how wise the movie really is" and "the more you think about it, the better The 40-Year-Old Virgin gets".[7] The pair gave minor criticisms, with Ebert describing "the way she (Catherine Keener as 'Trish') empathizes with Andy" as "almost too sweet to be funny" and Richard Roeper saying that the film was too long, and at times extremely frustrating.[7] Roeper later chose the film as the tenth best of 2005.[8] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the movie an A-, saying that Carell "plays him [Andy] in the funniest and most surprising way possible: as a credible human being." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called the film a "charmingly bent comedy", noting that Carell conveys a "sheer likability" and a "range as an actor" that was "crucial to making this film work as well as it does."[9]

The film was criticized by Harry Forbes of Catholic News Service for promoting "the false premise that there's something intrinsically wrong with an unmarried man being sexually inexperienced",[10] and by conservative columnist Cal Thomas for not being a "tribute to self-control or purity".[11]

In December 2005, the film was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best movies of the year, the only comedy film to be so recognized (though the comedy-drama The Squid and the Whale was also chosen). The film was also ranked No. 30 on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies.

Box office[edit]

The film was a summer hit, and opened at No. 1 at the box office, grossing $21,422,815 during its opening weekend, and stayed at No. 1 the following weekend. The film grossed a total of $109,449,237 at the domestic market, and $67,929,408 overseas, for a total of $177,378,645. The film was 25th in global gross, and 19th in the United States that year.[1]

Home media[edit]

On home video the film was released with an additional 17 minutes under the banner "unrated".[12]

For the 100th Anniversary of Universal the theatrical edition was released on Blu-ray.

Production[edit]

The production used over a million feet of film, a milestone reached on the last day of filming and recognized with free champagne by Technicolor.[13] Using the conversion of 90 feet of film per minute, this means that the shooting ratio for the film is 96:1 for the theatrical (84:1 for the unrated version).

Disclaimer[edit]

The American Humane Association withheld its "no animals were harmed..." disclaimer due to the accidental deaths of several tropical fish used in the film.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]