Thursday, January 19, 2006

The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Hey, it's funny. What more do you want? I'll admit there's a certain level of contrivance involved which occasionally deflates a setpiece (the scene with the drunk chick was kinda lame), but mostly this film is funny. This is likely because the writers have given us actual characters instead of comedic constructs, which shouldn't seem like a revolutionary concept but then that's the state of American comedy these days. True to Judd Apatow's resume, he and his collaborators have payed as much attention to the human element as they have to the jokes, which makes the film feel like it has a bit more weight and believability and robs it of disposability. (The running stream of gay jokes, in this context, is well-handled -- it's cast as harmless guy banter without any actual homophobia involved.) This makes the film feel remarkably warm and friendly for a smutcom -- it's the kind of film you could imagine hanging out with at a bar. The acting helps, too: Steve Carrell is excellent in his breakout role, and there's able support from Catherine Keener and the indispensible Paul Rudd. So yeah, it's funny. It's also just a little bit touching. (Pun decidedly not intended.)

Grade: B+


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