The humor of Judd Apatow takes some getting used to and no where is that more evident than in the 40-Year-Old Virgin. It is safe to say that the 40-Year-Old Virgin is a movie you have to see more than once to not only understand the comedy but to think any of it is funny. Judd Apatow is a brilliant director though because he edited the 40-Year-Old Virgin for final release by using a recording he had made of a test audience watching the movie. Wherever the audience either did not react, or reacted negatively, he cut that scene out or cut it down. What he was left with was voted as one of the funniest movies of all time and turned out to be a huge financial success but like with any Apatow movie this very funny comedy comes at a price and this could be where Apatow loses many people. The 40-Year-Old Virgin is classic Apatow in that it is extremely crude humor and plays to the lowest common denominator in everyone. If you have the ability to laugh at that, which many people do, then you will really enjoy a Judd Apatow movie. If the lowest form of humor is not appealing to you then you either won’t get it, won’t like it, or both. But Apatow does not just leave it at that, he makes it even more difficult to dislike his films by putting in dialogue that could be any two people you know having a conversation. It is great to see comedic genius on a screen but sometimes people just want to see people they can identify with saying things they say themselves or hear from other people all day long. That could be the big attraction to the Judd Apatow movies, the ability for a lot of people to identify with the characters because they seem like such real people. Apatow had all of this going for him in 40-Year-Old Virgin but he also had one other very large plus working for him in this movie, Steve Carell.
Steve Carell is fast becoming one of the top comedy stars of the modern era and with such performances of comedy genius in movies like Anchorman – The Ballad Of Ron Burgundy and his performance in 40-Year-Old Virgin Steve Carell is fast establishing himself as a go to guy when you need a comedy hit. Steve Carell has been doing television comedy since 1991 but it wasn’t until he started to appear on Comedy Central’s Daily Show With Jon Stewart in 1999 that the world really started to notice Steve Carell. In 2003 he finally got to show what he can do on the big screen in the comedy hit Bruce Almighty and his continued success with the public allowed him to star in the most expensive comedy to date when he starred in the 2007 comedy Evan Almighty. At $175 Million it stands as the most expensive comedy ever made but a weak script kept it from becoming a financial success.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin latches its wagon to the rising star of Steve Carell and that took it to box office success as one of the biggest grossing movies of 2005. The jokes and humor are crude, the dialogue is suspect and dirty, and the plot is simple. All it needed was that star in the lead and when 40-Year-Old Virgin got that it became a hit and stands one in a long line of Judd Apatow hit comedies.