The 40 Year Old Virgin (Apatow, 2005)

In anticipation of finally seeing Knocked Up tomorrow, I thought I’d get in the mood and revisit The 40 Year Old Virgin, a film I felt ambivalent toward the first time around. My main concerns with the pacing of the film, which still feels overly simple, concept driven, and incredibly cliched, keep this from being an all time personal classic. But the acting, especially Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, remains flat out hilarious, and Carrel’s lead performance matched with Keener’s smart and beautiful presence creates a protagonist and story worth rooting for. Not much has changed upon a secondary viewing, but I can say I enjoyed the climax more this time around, being completely vested in Andy’s spiritual battle between relationships and detached sex, which I initally felt was overwhelmed by the gags toward the end of the film. Apatow’s direction is minimal in traditional terms, but his writing and camera placement have always been used to highlight his incredible company of actors and their magical timing. Rogen especially, whose minor role in this film makes me ecstatic for Knocked Up. Ever since Freaks and Geeks (one of my favorite TV shows of all time) I’ve been waiting for Rogen to get a starring role, and it’s to Apatow’s credit he’s finally found the right vehicle for maximum success. Here’s a group of comedians worth rooting for as well.

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