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For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.

(Photo by Suzanne Hanover. 2005 Universal Studios. All rights reserved)

photo caption:
SURELY YOU OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO FIND SOMEONE TO DATE HERE: Andy, (Steve Carrell, left), and his pals (from left to right) David (Paul Rudd), Jay (Romany Malco), and Cal (Seth Rogen) are about to paricipate in a speed dating session in an attempt to help Andy overcome his bashfulness and find a date. end caption.

The 40 Year-Old Virgin : Never-Been-Kissed Nerd Looks for First Love in Over-the Top Comedy

Movie Review by Kam Williams

In the movie Bruce Almighty, Steve Carrell managed to upstage Jim Carrey during an unforgettable scene as a TV newscaster who is compelled to unleash a torrent of unintelligible gibberish while under a spell cast by his jealous competitor. On the strength of that memorable cameo, this alumnus of Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe parlayed his performance into several larger, though less well-received roles, in films like Anchorman and Bewitched.

He has also landed a couple of title roles, that of Maxwell Smart in the upcoming adaptation of Get Smart, and Andy Stitzer, aka The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Regrettably, Carrell fails to exhibit the star quality that is necessary to carry a full-length feature film. While he has what it takes to make a capable character actor, this movie magnifies his lack of magnetism and his inability to generate chemistry with his co-star Catherine Keener.

The picture is plagued by a host of problems, independent of its leading actor, starting with a premise which many might find offensive. The storyline is a cross between American Pie and There's Something about Mary.

Like Pie, the plot revolves around the desire to end Andy's virginity. As in Mary, the protagonist is a never-been-kissed loser who has a crush on an attractive woman clearly out of his league. It's obvious that the resolution of the plot will lay in a dovetailing of these parallel themes during the denouement. Meanwhile, the audience is asked to endure two hours of off-color slapstick and jokes, none of which elicited even one laugh from this critic.

Andy Stitzer is a good-natured geek who rides a bicycle to his job at an electronics chain store named Smart Tech. A nerd in every sense of the word, his hobbies include playing the tuba, singing karaoke, and painting toy soldiers. He describes himself as a gentleman who respects women but this doesn't sit well with his co-workers, David (Paul Rudd), Jay (Romany Malco), and Cal (Seth Rogen); relatively experienced Romeos who figure out that their 40 year-old colleague is still a virgin.

The trio try to help Andy find a woman willing to sleep with him. They do everything they can to set the mood: getting him drunk and high on pot, sending him on speed dates, supplying him with a pornography collection, and setting him up with a cute customer and the office tramp, all to no avail.

The supposed role models in this movie so frequently cross a line in terms of basic human decency that parents ought to consider this fair warning. The 40 Year-Old Virgin, while masquerading as a sweet romantic comedy, is, in truth, an infuriating, offensive, soft-porn primer on how to treat girls as objects who exist to be at the disposal of men.

Poor (0 stars). Rating: R for profanity, ethnic slurs, nudity, soft pornography, pervasive sexual situations, crude humor, the promotion of excessive alcohol consumption, and illegal drug usage. Running time: 116 minutes. Studio: Universal Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam's Kapsules.


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