Kudos and Kvetches: The 40-Year Old Virgin
The premise: unbelievable? Not at all. We encounter many 40-year-old virgins in medicine. Oddly enough, all of them are doctors. Never forget that medical school selects for social misfits, and that no sane person voluntarily becomes a doctor. Given that, is it any wonder that many doctors are 40-year-old (and older) virgins? Who is that lovely blonde, and what is the chance she might come visit your blog? Glad you asked. That is the gorgeous and talented Elizabeth Banks, whom you may remember from Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Sea Biscuit. In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, she plays cleanliness-obsessed secondary love interest Beth. As for whether she might visit my blog, I see this as slightly more likely than me winning the Super Lotto. I buy tickets twice a week. Do you know how I know you're gay? No. How? One photo: 'Nuff said. Anyway, what did you like about the movie? Well, Paul Rudd (pictured above) (the good-looking one, not the doofus with his shirt off) rocked. I thought that whole "Do you know how I know you're gay?" banter penetrated some of our darkest male fears, opening a dialog on the existential desperation of self-absorbed heterosexual angst. Just kidding. That stuff was funny as hell, though. You know what else I liked? The fact that this gal, actress Catherine Keener, Steve Carell's main love interest, was born in 1960. (Catherine, you're welcome here any time, too.) Honestly, aren't you at least a little squicked out when Jack Nicholson (born 4/22/37) nuzzles up to Helen Hunt (born 6/15/63)? Back to Ms. Keener. I love the fact that Judd Apatow cast an age-appropriate woman in this role. He even made her character a grandma. This is not a screenplay which shies away from the fact that the protagonists are middle-aged. In other words, this is a movie for us forty-somethings. Yay! Aside from that, I really, really liked Ms. Keener's performance. I understood Andy's instant attraction to her. I even understood why he would prefer Catherine Keener to Elizabeth Banks. And, by the way, there's more chemistry between Keener and Carell than in any movie romance I've seen for a long time. So what are you kvetching about? One thing, and one thing only. Same thing I touched on in my last Smart Bitches Day column. If you feel genre-bound to include a boy-loses-girl plot twist, please make it believable, okay? In Grosse Point Blank, the monkey wrench flows naturally from the plot. There's a tiny bit of coincidence involved (Debi shows up at just the wrong time), but that's forgivable, in my opinion. In The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the argument which temporarily divides our protagonists seems forced. I felt like I was watching the writer jam a square peg into a round hole. If that wasn't bad enough, Apatow felt compelled to put some weird-ass chase scene in there, with Andy chasing after Trish on his bicycle. Ugh! Other than that, this movie gets an unqualified thumbs-up from both of my hands. I'll have my eye out for other Apatow projects. (Just checked IMDB: Judd Apatow co-executive produced one of my all time favorite sit coms, The Larry Sanders Show. Show of hands: who remembers David Duchovny's repeated appearances on that show? I do, I do!) D. P.S.: Michelle has blogged about The 40-Year-Old Virgin, too. Let's have a 40-Year-Old Virgin party, everyone!