The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 American romantic comedy film directed by Judd Apatow, who produced the film with Clayton Townsend and Shauna Robertson. It features Steve Carell as the titular 40-year-old virgin Andy, an employee at an electronics store. Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, and Seth Rogen play co-workers who resolve to help him lose his virginity, and Catherine Keener stars as Andy's love interest, Trish.
Andy Stitzer is a shy 40-year-old introvert who works as a stock supervisor at electronics store Smart Tech. He gave up trying to have sex after various failed attempts and lives alone in an apartment with a collection of action figures and video games. When a conversation at a poker game with his co-workers David, Jay, and Cal turns to past sexual exploits, they learn that he secretly is still a virgin.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin was Judd Apatow's directorial debut. While serving as a producer for the 2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, he got the idea to have a film with Carell in the lead role after watching his performance in that, thinking "It would be great to see a Steve Carell movie". Apatow later asked him whether he had any movie ideas, and both men wrote The 40-Year-Old Virgin together after the latter expressed desires to make something about a virgin who was aged 40, basing it off a sketch Carell created while performing with the improv comedy troupe The Second City. Carell did many versions of the sketch, trying out different scenarios where the 40-year-old man is hiding a "big secret." Apatow had difficulty coming up with the ending for the film. Garry Shandling suggested it was important to show that Andy was having better sex because he was in love, and instead of directly showing the sex they decided to have Andy sing and have a musical number.
Apatow started casting the film early in the development process and tailored its script to the strengths of the actors. He also produced it for Apatow Productions along with Clayton Townsend and Shauna Robertson. Catherine Keener was the first choice for the female lead. Apatow specifically cast Stormy Daniels because he wanted "someone who's really, really comfortable" doing nude scenes that were required for the film's plot. A large portion of the dialogue in The 40-Year-Old Virgin was improvised. Keener stated in 2010 that Apatow "never really would even say cut" and instead would say "reload" when burning through film due to the improvisation, calling the experience "hysterically funny". She also mentioned "you had to kind of lose sense of being self-conscious on that movie because it was sort of an all-in in terms of throwing a joke out or even the writer would sit behind the monitors behind the curtain". The production used over a million feet of film, a milestone reached on the last day of filming and celebrated with free champagne from Technicolor SA.
With an approval rating of 84% at the end of 2005, Rotten Tomatoes ranked The 40-Year-Old Virgin as the year's "Best Reviewed Comedy" and added it "proves that Steve Carell has the comedic chops to carry a movie and provide a good share of laughs." Ebert and Roeper gave the film a "two thumbs up" rating. Roger Ebert said, "I was surprised by how funny, how sweet, and how wise the movie really is" and "the more you think about it, the better The 40-Year-Old Virgin gets." The pair gave minor criticisms, with Ebert describing "the way she (Catherine Keener as 'Trish') empathizes with Andy" as "almost too sweet to be funny" and Richard Roeper saying that the film was too long, and at times extremely frustrating. Roeper later chose the movie as the tenth best of 2005.
Emanuel Levy gave the film a B+ grade, calling it an R-rated comedy superior to Wedding Crashers that has "a generous heart and a sweet, almost naive center" in spite of the profane language used. While Brian Lowry of Variety believed The 40-Year-Old Virgin was slightly too long and "indulges in some juvenile excesses", he also felt it often provoked laughs even when "sophomorically homophobic." Rating the movie 3 and a half stars, The Baltimore Sun critic Chris Kaltenbach opened with "People see the name of this movie and get defensive. What's wrong with being a virgin? they ask. Absolutely nothing, and that's part of the point of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, probably the most sweet-spirited sex comedy ever made. It's pretty funny, too." He went on to call the lead character "endearing" and "a marvelous comic invention".
A 2018 article from Detroit Free Press contributor Julie Hinds noted that The 40-Year-Old Virgin was "Michigan's favorite romantic comedy", and called that ranking "a fine choice" when "Carell's character has a heart of gold" and "eventually lands in a solid, committed relationship". 15 years after the film's premiere, NME writer Beth Webb praised its use of "a mature virgin" for a protagonist who does not feel sex-starved. She called that aspect "a milestone" for "cinema's muddled relationship with virginity, in which women have since taken control of their virtue on screen, while men remain largely underrepresented" and declared the movie as a whole to be "a milestone for sex-positive cinema".
"I was so scared making it because you really feel like, if this doesn't go well, there will not be a second movie," Apatow explained last year on Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky's Your Mom's House podcast. "So your first movie is a very intense situation."
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Andy Stitzer is a 40-year-old virgin who lives alone, his apartment filled with his collection of action figures and video games. At a poker game with his co-workers David, Cal, Mooj and Jay, when conversation turns to past sexual exploits, the group learns that Andy is still a virgin, and resolve to help him lose his virginity. 2b1af7f3a8