STUDIO: Universal Studios
MSRP: $24.98
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 133 minutes
• Unrated Commentary by Judd Apatow, Steve Carell and cast
• "Directing the Virgin": Judd Apatow’s video diary
• "Assembling the Ensemble": cast auditions
• Comedy Central Reel Comedy Roundtable
• Cinemax FinalCut Inside Look
• Steve Carell: Uncensored
• Sneak peak of Knocked Up
• "Preparing for the Big Scene": Poker scene rehearsals
• Deleted scenes
• Extended scenes
• Gag reel
• Raw footage

The Pitch

Ladies, we’ll do anything to see you(r vertical) smile.

The Humans

Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogan.

"Okay, um, I know I’m new to blowjobs, but aren’t you supposed to swallow this stuff?",

The Nutshell

The adventures of Andy (Carell), a likeable 40-year-old guy who works at an electronics store, collects rare toys, and has no idea what it’s like to be in the sweet embrace of the vertical smile. When his co-workers, whom he’s never really hung out with before find out, they’re determined to help him bring the pussy down from the pedestal. He endures all of their advice and disastrous attempts to get him laid, which include almost hooking up with a drunk driving hottie, a transvestite hooker, and getting a chest wax that goes not very well. But there may be hope when he meets Trish (Keener), the hottest young grandmother he’s ever met who’s definitely giving him the vibe. From there it’s a personal contest to see if he can ever get King Kong off his back before he manages to screw this up like every other potential lay he’s ever had.

Needless to say, Price Pfister’s new ad campaign led to record sales…

The Lowdown

I finally got around to seeing this in its entirety just now, after having caught 80% of it on cable, and I’ve got to say that the praise that Judd Apatow is getting for this and Knocked Up (and the cross-promotion being the main reason this Double Your Pleasure Edition is in existence in the first place) seems to be pretty well-earned. 40-Year-Old Virgin is very well-written and acted by Carell who, after this and The Office, should be headed for much better things than the almost-sure-to-be-a-train-wreck-of epic-proportions Evan Almighty. Virgin is that rarity of gross out and slapstick humor which I love, and heartwarming comedy which frequently turns my stomach. Virgin combines a feel good story without it getting overly sappy and doesn’t let the farcical elements overwhelm the story. For the first time in a long time it brings to life a character, Andy, that you’re genuinely rooting for, but at the same time wanting him to fail for awhile because his failures are the stuff of comedy gold.

"Hi, my name is Judd Apatow. I’ve gotten Elizabeth Banks, Catherine Keener and Katherine Heigl to strip for me on camera. You may worship me if you wish."

Although the story is fairly transparent in places, such that you know once his friends learn about his predicament, they’re going to give him advice – and you know that advice is most assuredly going to backfire – you still get enjoyment out of it because the story is handled so well. Apatow deftly mixes those failures with glimmers of hope, only to have those hopes dashed – like the chest waxing that goes horribly bad – and sets you right up for the next attempt…that you know is probably also going to go just as wrong. It’s all about getting that monkey off Andy’s back, but you’re hoping the monkey decides to stay around just that much longer just as much as you’re wanting to see it go, because the journey is so fun.

"Wow, so that’s what a toe looks like…"

Of course Carell is the heart of this movie and he makes Andy one of the most likeable losers to come down the pike in recent memory. And Andy is such a 180 from characters I’d seen Carell play, like The Office’s Michael Scott and the aforementioned Evan Baxley, that I was completely surprised that he could bring such congeniality to the role. He’s not the R-rated guy we’re not sure we like, he’s the PG-rated guy we’re really rooting for, and it still works. And Carell is bolstered by the supporting cast, most notably the object of his affection, Trish, who’s equally likeably played by Catherine Keener. Paul Rudd and Romany Malco are also fine as his buddies trying to hook him up and dispensing advice, only to later reveal that they’re just as screwed up as Andy is, only in different ways. And Seth Rogan, who’s sure to jump to the A-list (or at least the B+ list) after Apatow’s latest, Knocked Up, finishes its run, is just as fun as Andy’s stoner buddy, Cal.

If I were still a virgin, she could be covered in blood and I’d probably still do her…

Some of the things I think also work well for Virgin is that it brings a couple of new twists to old ideas and puts a fresh spin on them. For instance, another of the supporting characters, Mooj, an (I’m guessing) Indian who works at Andy’s electronics store, is portrayed as the stereotypical Indian-with-the-thick-accent comic relief. But he’s a foul-mouthed, Americanized Indian who could be any other loud asshole except that he’s from Mumbai or someplace where curry is in favor. His center of comedy isn’t about his being an Indian trying to adapt to our culture, he’s already adapted and he just happens to be a likeable prick with an Indian accent. And like in the far inferior Deuce Bigelow, Andy goes through his gauntlet of nightmare dates, such as the drunk driver, and the transvestite hooker and the crazy water pick-friendly book store clerk (the delectable Elizabeth Banks), but in most cases, they’re not throwaways like in Bigelow, they’re key to establishing Andy’s moral compass. We know that although he’s utterly desperate to get it on, it has to be right for him, which is his most endearing quality, while also being his biggest drawback.

"To all the girls I’ve dreamed about having loved before…"

The closest movie parallels to that come to mind are Office Space and Swingers, and Virgin has quite a few similarities to either of those, but it’s still a unique experience in itself. With this and Knocked Up, which I hear is just as good if not better, Apatow has actually gotten me looking forward to seeing comedies again. I’ve had to go on a theatrical comedy sabbatical since the dreck that comedy greats like Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin have been putting out in the last decade or so, added with unending Luke and Owen Wilson picks that generally don’t even register a chortle, and Will Ferrell movies that I just don’t get. And with finding Jim Carrey comedies utterly unwatchable lately and wondering how Napoleon Dynamite is considered as funny as it is, it’s nice to feel good about laughing again.

Still, this is better than 90% of the shit currently on TV…

The Package

This two-disc set comes in an interesting little package, complete with a pop-up-style cover that, when you open it, transforms Carell from the nice, average guy from the movie one sheet into…well let’s just say that the ladies will be impressed by the manflesh on display. There’s also a commentary from Apatow, Carell and the cast on the unrated cut of the movie, as well as 11 minutes of deleted scenes, including the crew getting ready to go out, and a karaoke scene that would make German musical fans wet, as well as some more bonding scenes and a very extended scene with the transvestite hooker.

On Disc 2, there’s an extra expanded scene featurette, “You Know How I know You’re Gay?” where Rogan and Rudd are playing a video game and telling each other why they know the other’s gay, with commentary by Apatow and Rogan. There’s another way expanded version of the Date-a-Palooza scene that goes on for nearly ten minutes. Then there’s a six-minute feature, “Line-O-Rama,” where there are many takes of various scenes throughout the film. Next is Apatow’s video diaries, spanning the entire production of the movie and covering 52 days or so. This is a good feature as he takes you through all the twists and turns of the shoot and how he went about getting things done. There’s also seven minutes of auditions featuring Jonah Hill, Romany Malco, Shelley Malil, Jane Lynch, Gerry Bednob, Jazzmun, and one featuring Elizabeth Banks that I watched several times in a row to…uh…understand the acting mentality…in tight blue jeans and a belly shirt…mmm.

"You know how we know you’re gay, Oliver? You’ve reviewed Dirty Dancing, Beaches, Pretty Woman, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Desperate Housewives, Cinderella Story, Miss Congeniality, Monster-In-Law, Yanni, Raising Helen…"

There’s also around 20 minutes of raw footage from several scenes in the movie and a rehearsal of the poker scene after a “massive rewrite.” Next is a Comedy Central "Reel Comedy" Roundtable where Apatow, Malco, Rogan, Rudd and Carell BS about the movie for 20 minutes. Another fun featurette is the Cinemax “FinalCut” session with Apatow, Carell, Rogan and Rudd, commenting on some of the scenes, including the hot wax scene, where, they pretty much admitted there was little to no script and they didn’t have to slip into character to laugh as much as they did and that Carell was actually getting waxed on film. The strangest feature is easily an actual ‘70s sex ed film. I learned quite a bit actually…. And the feature of all features is Rogan’s dinner date with porn star co-star Stormy, where she actually shoves one of her monster cans with a tattoo of Rogan on it right into the lucky bastard’s face. Manoman. A four-minute gag-reel and a great quickie behind-the-scenes of the hot wax scene round out this great offering. 40-Year-Old Virgin is chock-full o’ goodness and a must have.

"Well, the good news is you’re no longer a virgin. The bad news is I’m on Valtrex…"

8.7 out of 10