Fox // 2010 // 82 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Daniel Kelly (Retired) // May 26th, 2010
It seems the filmmakers behind the recent glut of spoof flicks are stuck in a constant game of limbo, each production's quality dropping a bit lower than the last. Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg were the reigning champs thanks to the noxious quartet of Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and 2008's Disaster Movie, but now I'm not so sure. Whilst it would be hard to say that The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It (pause for breath) is truly any worse than the Friedberg/Seltzer oeuvre, it's definitely no better. Director Craig Moss has compiled one of the worst films I've ever seen here, a comedy that solicits no chortles and a parody far dumber than anything it sets out to mock.
Andy (Bryan Callen, The Hangover) is a 41-year-old virgin who has had no luck with the ladies. He lives with a bunch of sex crazed idiots (all of whom represent a character from the Judd Apatow universe), and he makes breakfast and reads the paper using his penis. After embarking on several ill-fated romances, Andy meets Sarah (Mircea Monroe, Cellular) a woman who appears to be a crude mix of Katherine Heigl and Kristen Bell. Sarah ends up getting pregnant, albeit not via Andy's hand. Then the story moves to Hawaii...and who actually cares; let's just get on with slating this monstrosity.
Obviously given the title, the main satirical targets for this picture are the Judd Apatow produced movies of the last five years. As a massive fan of many of these films I was genuinely curious to see what a parody would do -- spoofing some already tremendously funny movies is after all an odd proposition. I needn't have put so much thought into the matter. The 41-Year-Old Virgin etc. is an awful film, witless, devoid of laughs and unbelievably juvenile. The picture drew absolutely no chuckles from me, and its poor production design only adds insult to injury. The script is horrendous, the impersonations sub-par, and the aesthetic ugly beyond belief. I really can't find a nice word to say about this thing.
Bryan Callen (who had a minor but modestly amusing role in The Hangover) tries to channel Steve Carrel's nebbish but likable nature into an exaggerated caricature, but fails miserably. He's wooden and his comic timing is seriously off, leaving the picture without a funny leading man. The other performers just end up doing lame impressions of actors, the worst of which being Austin Michael Scott (who played the same part in Disaster Movie!) as McAnalovin, a hideously broad and mirthless send-up of the McLovin character from Superbad. Mircea Monroe doesn't really appear to know what she's doing, and so she just screams and hollers profanities with no comedic success. I could list all the various actors and address all their pathetic attempts to essay various pop culture icons, but that would be a monumental waste of time. Know only this; the performances are obvious, lazy and joyless. Nobody attacks their role with brains or cutting wit, and the thespians can't generate a satirical giggle between them.
Aside from the Apatow stable, Moss's picture takes squinty aim at various other properties. Twilight, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, and Borat are also lampooned in the weakest fashion possible. Audiences are also treated to a selection of tepid retreads of infamous moments from Apatow's works. The birthing scene from Knocked Up, the vomiting sequence from The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the competitive sex segment from Forgetting Sarah Marshall are all tainted thanks to the inept comic touch on display here. Craig Moss has created a complete travesty, and showcases zero ability or intelligence from behind the camera. The script lacks even a semi-coherent story, the movie pinging between pastiches of Superbad, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and various other flicks with no logic or common sense. It's just one more flaw to sigh at.
At least nobody's going to be disappointed. This was one film that was always going to fail; it's the sort of feature that makes one appreciate the early works of the Zucker brothers all the more. The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It is just a hideously insipid way to spend 82 minutes, obsessed with scatological humour, gross out sex gags, and naked female flesh. It has no charm or comedic value, and hopefully its creators never work again. The extras consist of a selection of limp featurettes focusing on how this cancerous film got made, and a slightly more interesting examination of how one actor in particular got cast (it's the dude who portrays Jonah Hill). The video and audio capabilities haven't been assessed as the disc supplied for review was a screener, meaning the tech specs aren't a fair representation of the final product.
It's guilty beyond belief.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated R