In a welcome change from puerile and stinking-rotten Rob Schneider and David Spade movies, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is a ribald comedy that is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, despite being custom-built around a scene-stealing second-banana who really belongs in small roles.
Deadpan "Daily Show" correspondent Steve Carell, who briefly but memorably upstaged Will Ferrell in "Anchorman" and Jim Carrey in "Bruce Almighty," stars as Andy Stitzer, a king-dork electronics store clerk rapidly approaching middle age and so bereft of social skills that he's never managed to get much past first base with a woman. When his co-workers realize this, watching him fumble to fit in while swapping sex stories during an after-hours poker game, they make it their mission to get the poor guy laid.
Co-written by Carell and director Judd Aptow (creator of TV's "Undeclared" and "Freaks and Geeks"), the plot is perfectly pitched to its star's talent for playing hapless, hopeless twits. Put Carell in a polo shirt, a pair of khakis and a K-Mart windbreaker, and he can garner hardy chuckles with little more than a perplexed stare from his deep-set buggy eyes. He dives headlong into this character, earning cheek-hurting laughs with painfully awkward moments (his pals convince him to get his chest waxed) and giving Andy such an authentic geekdom (his apartment is lined with collectable toys in their original packaging) that the movie's plot hardly feels like a gimmick at all.
Continue reading: The 40-Year-Old Virgin Review
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