My Favorite Movies – The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

16 May

By Tanner Smith

I’m going to begin this one by mentioning my favorite scene because it’s seriously, undoubtedly, unquestionably the movie scene that makes me laugh the loudest!

It’s the body-waxing scene, which just thinking about it makes me crack up. This was originally written as a brief part of a “makeover” montage, but the idea of Steve Carell getting his chest waxed for real was too good of an idea to pass up. Damn right it was! Carell’s reactions upon painfully going through this process, as well as the reactions of everyone watching him, are more enough to make me laugh out loud…but it’s when we see the aftermath that I just SHRIEK with uncontrollable laughter!

I love watching the behind-the-scenes doc extra about the making of this scene because it reassures me that nothing about it was faked.

OK, so it’s a hilarious scene. What makes the movie, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” overall so special?

For one thing, there are plenty more funny moments, such as exactly how Andy’s (Steve Carell) friends (Romany Malco, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen) find out Andy’s a virgin (because he compares a woman’s breast to “a bag of sand”), Andy’s attempt at “dating” himself, his dangerous drive home with a drunk girl (Leslie Mann), difficulties with condoms, Jane Lynch as Andy’s boss who introduces the term “f***-buddy,” and unconventional dating advice when trying to pick up Elizabeth Banks as a horny bookstore employee.

A lot of the comedy is sexual and apologetically R-rated, and it just keeps coming with gag after gag–even when a gag fails, it’s quickly forgotten about.

But that’s not the main reason “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is one of my favorites (it’s a good reason, but there’s more to it than that). What truly stands out about “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is that it’s more like a bait-and-switch–you come in for the hilariousness…and stay for a genuinely touching love story.

No joke–when shy, sincere, innocent Andy begins dating sweet-natured Trish (Catherine Keener), it’s beautiful. These two are freaking precious together! There’s great affection felt between the two, and it’s clearer to Andy (than it is to his buddies who have been trying to get him laid) why he’s been waiting so long to have sex–as corny as it sounds, he was waiting for the right one.

If there’s anything better than a comedy that can make you laugh, it’s a comedy that can make you feel.

One last thing I’ll say about it is that sometimes editors know what they’re doing. The “unrated” DVD version of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which features about 17 additional minutes of footage, just isn’t as funny. It feels like filler and hurts the pacing.

The original theatrical “rated” version, however? One of my favorite comedies of all time.

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