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40-Year-Old Virgin, The (Unrated Edition) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2005

The 40-Year Old Virgin (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Universal Studios Home Video
MPAA rating: Unrated (the theatrical cut was rated R for pervasive sexual content, language and some drug use)
starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen
film release year: 2005
DVD release year: 2005
film rating: Three-and-a-Half Stars
sound/picture rating: Two and a half Stars
reviewed by: Bryan Dailey

Anyone who saw Will Ferrell’s comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” surely remembers the scene-stealing comedy antics of the weatherman Brick Tamland, played by Steve Carell. It’s this deadpan yet goofball style that helped Carell garner attention from audiences and casting directors around the world. Before we knew it, Carell was cast not only in the American version of “The Office,” a show about working in a corporate environment, based on the British series of the same name, but also as the lead in the surprise smash hit “The 40 Year Old Virgin.”

This film was one of the most critically revered movies of the year and ended up grossing a very solid total at the box office, making it one of the most anticipated comedy DVD releases of 2005. The premise of this movie, co-written by Carell and director Judd Apatow, is simple and there aren’t too many big twists along the way. Boy named Andy (Carell) meets girl and everything goes so horribly wrong in his first few attempts at “scoring” that boy decides to stop looking for girl. Before he knows it, he’s 40 years old and is working in the stock room at an electronics chain and is hopelessly into things like collecting action figure.

One evening when invited to play poker after work with the guys from the stereo store, the conversation among the group turns to the topic of sex. Everyone chimes in with their latest love-making story but it becomes quickly obvious that Andy is out of his league when talking about this subject. The boys from the stereo store start to put two and two together. The guys had always suspected that Andy was either gay or maybe a serial killer in training, but then it dawns on them: he is a 40-year-old virgin.

Audio/video enthusiasts will find that there are some scenes that hit quite close to home in the stereo store. In one scene, two salesmen argue over who is going to get the commission for the latest sale, a common dispute among commissioned retail personnel. Everyone knows the awkward sales negotiations that often occur when the extended warranty is being pitched during a sale and in “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” there is a particularly funny disagreement between the black salesman Jay and an African American customer. The customer wants Jay to throw in the extended warranty on what appears to be a cheap boom box. Some racial name calling starts happening when Jay tells the customer that he cant help a nigga’ out. Andy, who has now been promoted to floor manager, steps in and, before he knows it, is caught up in the middle of a gang-banger turf rivalry argument over a silly extended warranty.

Another funny running gag is how sick everyone in the story is of the Michael McDonald DVD that is playing endlessly on a loop.

Watching a movie that I originally saw theatrically on its opening weekend for the second time in the home environment where there isn’t a room full of people laughing is a good way to test if a movie is really as funny as you remember it the first time. With “The 40-Year old Virgin,” I was surprised at how much stuff that I almost fell on the floor laughing at in the theater seemed lame on a second viewing in my living room. The chest waxing scene that is probably the most memorable scene in the whole movie is really not that funny. However, some of the other gags, like the speed dating and cruising for drunk chicks was funnier on the second viewing.

The film brilliantly walks right on the line between being very offensive and very sweet. At the center of this sex comedy lies a very good message for teens and adults as well. Topics like abstinence and safe sex are discussed in a very funny yet real way. It may seem a little obvious, but the metaphor for Andy’s virginity is represented by the countless toys and action figures that fill Andy’s humble apartment and his unwillingness to open them up speaks volumes about him. It isn’t until he meets the woman (Catherine Keener) from the “We Sell Your Stuff On Ebay” store that he is willing to part with any of his prized collection of toys from his youth. You can also guess what else he is eventually willing to part with, thanks to her influence.

This is only a one-disc DVD set. However, there are some very funny extras included, such as deleted and extended versions of some scenes, as well as commentary with director/co-writer Apatow and star/co-writer Carell. One of the running gags throughout the movie is the “You know how I know you are gay?” joke. When watching Andy’s co-workings Cal and David battling verbally while at the same time kicking the crap out of each other on a video game, they start in by accusing each other of being gay. They volley back and fourth with quips like “You know how I know you are gay? Because you listen to Coldplay” or “You know how I know you are gay? Because you are wearing powder blue track pants”. It’s obvious that many of the scenes in “The 40-Year-old Virgin” are highly improvised and, in the bonus footage, there is a super-extendo version of this scene and some if it is so funny and dirty I fully understand why it had to go on the unrated version.

Technically, I was a little disappointed at the film transfer of this DVD. Some of the dialogue is tough to understand as well. In the stereo store, there are two Middle Eastern salesmen with over the top accents who always seem to be getting into fights with the other salesmen; half of the time, the center channel dialogue was mixed so poorly that I had to back up the DVD several times to fully decipher the joke. I have seen and heard DVDs that were far worse, but for a movie that has sold around five million units on DVD at the time of this review and already racked up a mint at the box office, I was surprised that a better job wasn’t done on the sound and picture quality. The number of extras is pretty good for a single-disc set and the unrated version is a little funnier, although not much different in overall feel from the first movie. Nothing really stuck out at me as being different from the R-rated version that I saw in the theater, but I could tell there was just a little bit more of an edge to the movie.

In the end, there are some good life lessons to be learned in “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” It’s got some pretty offensive humor but it’s not so crude, even in the uncut extended version, that a late-teens kid couldn’t handle it. The sex scenes are handled quite tastefully and really aren’t provocative in any way. In the end, it’s a feel-good movie with one of the most bizarre and funny closing credit scenes that I have seen in recent memory and has laughs from beginning to end.

more details
sound format:
English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.1 Stereo
aspect ratio(s):
1.85:1 (widescreen)
special features: 17 minutes longer than the theatrical release; “You Know How I Know You're Gay?” Featurette with Optional Commentaries; Andy's Fantasies with Optional Commentaries; Cal & Paula with Optional Commentaries; Advice from Mooj; Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentaries; Waxing Doc; Date-A-Palooza; Line-O-Rama; My Dinner with Stormy; Gag Reel; Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Judd Apatow and Actor/Co-Writer Steve Carell
comments: email us here...
reference system
DVD player: Integra DPS-10.5
receiver: Integra DTR-10.5
main speakers: RBH WM-24
center speaker: RBH WM-24
rear speakers: RBH MC-615-70 In-Ceiling
subwoofer: Revel B12
monitor: 61-inch JVC H-DILA HDTV

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