Film / The 40-Year-Old Virgin

"Is it true that if you don't use it, you lose it?"
Andy Stitzer

The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a 2005 comedy film starring Steve Carell in the title role, and the first film to put director Judd Apatow on the map (after television stints with Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared).

It is the story of Andy Stitzer (Carell), a 40-year-old man who, due to a series of unfortunate mishaps all throughout his youth, never experienced sexual intercourse during his formative years and has lost interest in his adulthood. One night, while playing cards with his friends from the electronics store where they all work, Andy inadvertently reveals that he's a virgin; this initially results in the expected chummy jeers, but shortly thereafter his friends Cal (Seth Rogen), Jay (Romany Malco), and David (Paul Rudd) decide to help him lose his virginity. Eventually, Andy meets a nice woman named Trish (Catherine Keener) with whom he shares a genuine emotional connection, and though he's nervous about telling her the truth about his virginity and the subject of sex in general, he must learn to overcome his insecurities to discover both sex and romance.

Since we all know that no true man is a virgin and that loners are freaks, this movie surprised many by portraying the title character, a virginal and nerdy (he collects action figures and comics) introvert, not as some kind of loser or freak but as a likeable fellow who's simply chosen not to have sex after a short series of rejections in his youth. Since it dresses in the skin of a Sex Comedy, it's also refreshing to see the subject of sex summed up as "a nice thing to have, but meaningless without love," as seen in Andy's well-meaning but dim-witted friends, who all lead active sex lives but are probably less happy than Andy because their romantic relationships are unfulfilling.

The 40-Year-Old Virgin provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adorkable: Andy; he's so lovably-dorky, if you look carefully, he considers Dragonball GT cool enough to own a limited Super Saiyan 4 Son Goku Action figure in his collection!
  • All There in the Manual: Andy's last name, Stitzer is never mentioned in the film, but is in the trailers and other promotional materials
  • Angrish: During the chest waxing scene, Andy quickly devolves from random screaming to swearing at everyone to Gratuitous Spanish to "Kelly Clarkson!!!"
  • As Herself: Adult film star Stormy Daniels has a cameo playing herself during a dream sequence.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: It's mentioned that Andy looks a lot like Luke Wilson.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: The scene where Andy's running away from work because the guys were making fun of him.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Harry Forbes of Catholic News Service, who criticised the film for "the false premise that there's something intrinsically wrong with an unmarried man being sexually inexperienced".
  • Corpsing: Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and even Miki Mia just couldn't hold in their laughter during the chest waxing scene.
  • Holding Hands: "Hold my hand, man." "What?" "Just-just HOLD MY HAND!!"
  • Hollywood Dateless: Despite Andy having been an awkward virgin until his forties he finds himself on numerous dates with very attractive women in a short period of time.
    • To be fair up until the movie he never really tried to date after his formative years.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Interestingly, Andy has elements of both Type 1 and Type 2. On the one hand, he has many stereotypically "nerdy" and "child-like" interests and hobbies such as collecting action figures, reading comic books, and playing video games. On the other hand, he does not have an overtly nerdy manner of dress, does not wear glasses, has a fairly muscular physique from working out a lot (and from riding a bicycle everywhere in lieu of even having a driver's license) and is played by the handsome and manly-looking Steve Carell.
  • Kavorka Man: Cal, he even lampshades it: "Look at me! I'm ugly as fuck by traditional standards, but I know how to get with women!"
  • Lets Wait Awhile: In the end, Andy and Trish.
  • Love Hurts: As Andy and Trish's twenty-date deadline draws to a close he starts pushing her away out of fear of sex and disappointing her. She becomes completely heartbroken and tearfully begs him that she'll do anything to stay with him.
    • Also David, who is a consistent buzzkill to his friends because he's so obsessed with his ex.
  • Manchild: Andy, to a degree (at least insofar as his action figure collection is concerned). His friends play this straight in every other aspect.
    • It's one of the few correlations between sex and worthiness at first, but it's later clear that his childish hobbies are a healthy outlet for the spare time he has that others would dedicate to being horndogs, and a sign of commitment and passion.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Inverted. Andy passes up a handful of potential partners instead of taking up with the first one who offers. He doesn't even take the first opportunity to have sex with his girlfriend. It's because he places love and romance over sex and refuses to have the latter without the former first.
  • Misaimed Marketing: The tagline seen in the page pic is rather contrary to the film's actual, more empowering message. Possibly invoked, as the resulting surprise would have more impact on watchers.
  • Nerds Are Virgins: Played with significantly. While Andy's hobbies paint him as nerdy, it's been observed by some female reviewers that Andy should be the one with the active sex life, not in spite of his personal habits, but because of them. For instance, while his friends are observed to be whiny losers, Andy is a handsome man who prefers an "unmanly" bicycle to get around, but it helps keep him in great shape on top of his regular exercise regime, giving a handsome exterior complementing his winning interior.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One would think looking at the trailer that the movie would be American Pie with STEVE CARRELL! Turns out the actual message of the movie is nearly the opposite.
  • Nice Guy: Sweet mercy, Andy. As the story progresses and they find out just how great a person he is, the other characters become confused and even a little upset that someone like him is still alone.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Averted... by the scene at the quick-dating-place. Yup, you guessed it — Wardrobe Malfunction. And something else, too.
  • Pac-Man Fever: Utterly savage example: Cal and David play a PlayStation 2 game with Nintendo 64 controllers (one of which is upside-down). At least what they're playing is portrayed correctly, if anything. Until the fatality, which the movie seems to think is interactive. (It isn't.) While the N64 controller is inexcusable, the "upside-down" controller is actually the joystick attached to the game chair Andy has. Made extra-confusing by the fact that Mortal Kombat 4 did appear on the N64, but they chose to use footage from one of the PS2 Mortal Kombat games instead.
  • Porn Stash: David's gift to Andy, in an ill-conceived and unsuccessful attempt to make him comfortable about sex.
    "Hey buddy. Got a big box of porn for ya."
    • ...which inevitably ends up as one of the cruelest Brick Jokes ever.
  • Raging Stiffie: Andy has this a couple of times to the point where he has a hard time, uh, pointing himself towards the toilet.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Several movie critics have remarked on how the humor doesn't involve teasing or pranks, but the honest, if misguided, attempts of Andy's friends to help.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Though it's more like an afterthought. It is the capstone of Andy's character development, though. Many other the trope should apply to Andy anyway.
  • Sex God: Andy finally breaks his duck with an as-expected three-thrust wonder. The action then cuts to some time later after his second performance and it's clear he's astonished his more experienced new wife with "natural talent".
  • Stalker With a Crush: David went a little overboard in regards to Amy.
  • Straight Man: The title character: much of the film's humor stems from Andy's deadpan reactions to his friends' whacky attempts to get him laid.
  • That's Gotta Hurt: During the chase scene, Steve Carell ends up going through a billboard car.
    Trish: Oh my god! Andy! Are you okay?!
    Andy: There were two sides to that billboard, and they both hurt equally!
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: During Andy's speed-dating montage, one of his dates has her nipple peek out of her shirt. She remains completely unaware of it and oblivious to Andy's resultant discomfort and repeated subtle hints to cover herself.
  • What Have We Ear?: How Andy attempts to impress Trish's daughter.
  • What It Says On The Tin: Trish's store is called "We Sell Your Stuff on eBay".

Alternative Title(s): The 40 Year Old Virgin