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This week:
The Forty Year Old Virgin

Filthy says:
"Sort of Makes You Wish You Were Too."

Losing your virginity is a pretty fucking important thing. Far more important than car keys or an unwanted dog in the woods. Maybe I'm weird but it's something I still think about. Every now and then I'll be sitting around drunk, watching Elimidate Extreme in my bathrobe and think, "Shit, I still gotta pop my cherry." Then I remember, oh damn, I already did. Sweet. And it makes me feel better. Hell, I'm married. I can have sex pretty much any time I want, so long as the dogs aren't in the room watching. I don't exactly remember my first time, but the doctors said you can't get warts like those just from masturbating.

Not being a virgin is something I cherish that they can't take away from me. Like they did with the TV I bought using a stranger's credit card, or my record on Deer Hunter Revolution Extreme at the Tavern. I never played that game, but Worm said I held the record for vomiting on it the most in one night. They took the TV away, and the Harelip broke my record the night she ate the black fungus under the bathroom sink on a dare. Actually, she dared herself.

Once you've had sex, nobody can ever say you haven't, despite what the weirdos who believe in secondary virginity say. Those jackasses say you can have as much bone as a carp and then pretend you haven't if you save yourself for marriage from that point forward. The advantage in claiming secondary virginity, as far as I can tell, is a ten percent discount at Christian bookstores. Well, shit, why not steal a TV and return it yourself? Besides, the point of saving yourself for marriage is so you won't know how shitty your virgin partner is at sex on your wedding night. If you've already been fucking around, then you'll know and you'll be lying in a hotel bed in Hawaii, listening to the ceiling fan whir while crying yourself to sleep and wondering, "I saved myself (the second time around) for this?"

So, I got that non-virgin thing going for me. It's something Steve Carell can't claim at the beginning of The Forty Year Old Virgin. You probably figured that out from the title, though, didn't you? Except the virgins. They're too busy thinking unsexy thoughts to do anything else.

The Forty Year Old Virgin is pretty damn funny. In fact, it's a damn good movie right up until the last half hour, when it's sort of okay but also plotted as clumsily as Candy Bottoms' porn version of Crime and Punishment. As hard as the poor woman tried, she could never really explain why Raskolnikov kept yanking out his dick.

Steve Carell is the virgin, a man living in an apartment with his massive collection of action figures and video games. He works as a stock boy at an electronics store. He rides a bicycle, always making sure to tuck his pant leg into his sock to keep grease off it. His coworkers discover he's still a virgin when he tries to brag about his prowess by describing the way women's breasts feel like bags of sand. I'm not sure if that's a dead giveaway, though. I have felt breasts like that. Yeah, the women were dead, but still. Although, maybe that one girl really did have sand bags under her shirt. We were making out during a river flooding.

Once Carell's coworkers discover his secret, they make it their mission to get him laid. Fuck, I wish I had had friends like that. When we go out, my friends are too fucking busy shoving toothpicks in my ears. Regardless, isn't this the plot of every teen movie, just transposed to a 40-year old?

Carell plays along until he meets Catherine Keener, a woman his own age, who has kids and owns one of those weird stores that sells your shit on eBay. Since Keener has kids, she's either the Virgin Mary or she's done the nasty before. And if she's the Virgin Mary, one of the kids might be Jesus. In which case, Carell should kidnap him and sell him on the Internet. I bet Jesus would be worth a shitload. Carrell is afraid of being so bad at screwing that he scares her away that he convinces her that they should wait. Hey, Carrell, I got news for you: you can have sex thousands of times and still be afraid you're bad at it.

After some crappy, mechanical plotting such as corny misunderstandings keep the lovers apart (Carrell in despair almost has sex with another woman, Keener finding a porn collection his friend left at his apartment), The lovers are separated until Carrell has the courage to swallow his pride and tell Keener that he's a virgin. This is the crappiest part of the movie. It's the least original and most contrived. Like a lot of movies, this one feels like the writers (Carell and Judd Apatow) had a great idea, piled on the funny jokes and then in the last half hour said, Oh, shit! how do we end it? Lacking for anything better, they rely on outdated formula more heavily than a welfare mom with a baby.

Why do so many writers never bother to think of an ending before they start writing the beginning? Fuck, you're making millions; put some time into it. And for fuck's sake, don't end your movie with a wedding. How fucking cheesy. To top it off, The Forty Year Old virgin follows that with a campy cast singing of a dopey 60s song. It's just further proof of a major brain fart where an ending should be. Hell, maybe there are enough people weaned on Saturday Night Live who think comedy never isn't required to have endings. To those: SNL doesn't; good comedy does.

What is truly terrific about this movie is Steve Carrell. He overcomes the slow pacing by creating a virgin who is more than a single gag. The movie actually gives a shit about this guy and injects with humanity. And Carell is a damn good comic actor. the kind who puts the joke ahead of his own ego. Sure, his character is naive, but he's not the walking punchline you'd expect. The joke isn't that he's a virgin. The joke is that he's human and insecure, shy and a immature. But he's real, and really fucking funny. When he follows his friends advice and gets his chest waxed the pain is palpable and the reaction is the funniest gag in the movie. I once tried waxing my nuts with an ex-girlfriend and I dribbled urine for two weeks.

The rest of the cast is the typical Greek chorus playing the typical roles of giving comically bad advice they can't even follow themselves. Paul Rudd plays a soft-headed dope all spiritual since his girlfriend split. The awesome Seth Rogen plays the dude in every stock room with the tattoos, back support belt and the fuck-it attitude girls love, and Romany Malco is the philandering black guy. Instead of foul-mouthed grannies there are a pair of swearing Pakistanis. Same result. The gags, though, are more humane and funnier. For example, the ex-girlfriend that Rudd pines for is average-looking, not an impossible supermodel. And everyone seems to actually care about each other. There aren't any desperate attempts at the grossout. Thankfully, no pathetic duplications of a nut stuck in a zipper or spooge hanging from an ear. Also to its credit, there is no sassy gay guy.

Poor Catherine Keener has a thankless role. I can see how a girl would like Carell's character, but she likes him too quickly, and is forced to react in unrealistic ways in order to propel the plot ahead. She hefts the weight while the boys act goofy.

Three Fingers for The Forty Year Old Virgin, a movie that saves itself from by being smart and humane under its own filth. And, God damn, I can appreciate that.

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The Great Raid is "OutrThe best war movie to be produced in years. It's wrapped in courage, patriotism and honor. In these troubled times, young and old alike should see this film. It's a reason to go back to movie theaters

Filthy's Reading
Andy Bellin - Poker Nation

Listening to
The Bloody Hollies - Fire at Will


Muppet Treasure Island