Sunday, October 02, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin

With a title like that, it takes little imagination to know that this film belongs to the sex comedy genre which has gained popularity ever since American Pie started it all from 1999.

Virgin adopts a similar formula, even from the start, we are introduced to Andy (the Virgin) in his suburban home, and his stiff unused woody (Yes, it's that blatant. Expectations, remember?) Andy's the guy who somehow couldn't grow up, with his extremely cool collection of collectible toys and comic books, custom made video game chair and home decor adorned with pop culture posters. His predicament would probably be appreciated by many guys - with a life like that, interest from the opposite sex is hard to come by, and not to mention a disastrous experience which left him scarred.

Andy works in an electronic store, which is the setting taking up almost half the entire film. Not that it's bad though, interesting hilarious stuff do happen. And it is his colleagues, upon learning his "secret", vow to make things happen and present to him various opportunities and tips. Even his female manager subtly propositions to him as a f-buddy, bringing on some laughs as she delivered it multiple times in a deadpan manner.

So begins various set pieces like the first pick up in a bar with a drunken babe who drives him to her home, the speed dating segment where he meets a butch wanting to go straight, and another who had a wardrobe malfunction, the pain-inducing chest hair waxing session gone awry, and Beth, the demure bookstore chick, who's more than meets the eye. Eye candy galore though in these scenes, so all the hot blooded males out there wouldn't be complaining at all, akin to the strategy adopted by American Pie by featuring attractive actresses.

It works on another level though. With his friends providing weird and sometiems crazy ideas and advice, we are presented the flipside of their own predicament, insecurity, and troubled relationships. This movie seemed to spread the message that sex isn't everything, and while journeying with Andy to his first lay, most can identify with many of the issues and relationship problems presented.

And on that note, this film at some times feels like Will Smith's Hitch. Andy, while listening and accomodating his buddies' advice, instead goes against these well intentions to set his sights on Trish, a woman who works on the opposite side of the street, selling stuff on E-Bay. In this storyline however, it's the usual boy-meets-girl, fall in love, loses girl, gets her back cliche formula. But it's the delivery of both leads Steve Carrell and Catherine Keener that keeps it from being boring.

Despite casting relatively unknowns, just as American Pie did, the actors seem to have loads of fun despite the stereotypical roles. This film should gain regonition for Steve Carrell, just as Pie did for Jason Biggs, Some might have remembered Carrell as the funny newsachorman in Bruce Almighty, and I'll be awaiting in glee for him to star in one of my favourite TV series Get Smart, as Maxwell Smart (somewhat a dead ringer for the late Don Adams I tell ya).

Surprisingly, you'll hardly feel it's a two hour long film. The pace is quite even, despite the meshing of 2 parallel plot lines following American Pie's and Hitch's. I dare say the Virgin does swallow the Pie, with a more mature and responsible feel to it.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...