The 40 Year Old Virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin

This film has become something of a time capsule for the mid Aughts. The film isn't exactly steeped in referential humor, but it's so imbued in its own time frame that it has become dated. Bookstores, pre-HD televisions, flip phones, and freakin' VHS tapes are still around, among other dated ideas. It's a film that exists on the edge of oblivion.

But it still works. It's still genuinely funny, and seems to exist from a time when most of these actors had yet to be typecast in pretty standard roles. Carell plays a pretty normal guy that isn't always overreacting to everything and only shouts when he's legitimately angry. Catherine Keener works surprisingly well with Judd Apatow's improvisational comedic style, and the supporting cast is all spot on.

Even Apatow seems to be at his best here. While the film is directed with the visual panache of an ABC TV Sitcom it's relatively lean for an Apatow flick, and there's a welcome absence of extended line-o-ramas except where they feel welcome. It's a genuinely funny film with some nice things to say.