Judd Apatow's comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin is about … well … just that. Steve Carrell proved himself as Hollywood's funniest secret weapon while playing a small part as a weatherman in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Now he has his first lead role in film as a socially inept geek (he collects action figures and works at a tech shop) who tries to cover up his virginity by boasting about sexual shenanigans until someone calls his bluff. When his peers begin to apply the proverbial peer pressure, coaching him toward fornication, he suddenly finds himself in love with a wonderful woman (the always impressive Catherine Keener) and decides to put off "the big event" a little longer.
Thus, in spite of the film's incessant locker-room humor and profanity, the film's plot ultimately shines a surprising, complimentary light on abstinence and restraint. But that's not enough to save it from the wrath of Christian film critics, who, needless to say, aren't recommending it.
"There are lots of stereotypes about grown-up virgins," Peter T. Chattaway (Christianity Today Movies) observes, "and The 40-Year-Old Virgin … plays on every single one of them. But in its own peculiar way, the film stands these stereotypes on their head, so much so that, by the end, our protagonist seems like the sanest character of the bunch."
He concludes, "There is an awful lot of foul language and raunchy humor in this film, and it needs tighter editing, so I can't say I recommend it. But is intriguing to see how, even in its most off-color moments, Hollywood turns to traditional virtues for its happy endings."
Harry Forbes (Catholic News Service) laments, "We've seen it before. The buddies of a painfully shy, awkward guy—who has ...1