You know how I know Appellate Judge Rob Lineberger is gay? He's fascinated by the slightly pink lip gloss they put on Steve Carell to make his lips look softer.
Our reviews of The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Blu-Ray) (published September 30th, 2008), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (HD DVD) (published October 11th, 2007), and The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Unrated Edition (published March 20th, 2006) are also available.
"Wow. This is graphic."—Andy
By now you're probably familiar with The 40 Year-Old Virgin. There was a time when you were first getting acquainted with the concept, perhaps had preconceived notions of a cheap, bawdy tale in the vein of crass comedies such as American Pie. Steve Carrell had not yet erupted into the spotlight with the one-two punch of The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Little Miss Sunshine. You might have overlooked the subtle clue that director Judd Apatow was executive producer, director, and writer for the sensitive cult hit Freaks and Geeks.
Hindsight is so much better. By now, many of our snide dismissals of The 40 Year-Old Virgin have evaporated in the warmth of a movie that, while crass and vulgar, leaves its characters with integrity. We know know that Steve Carrell (Andy) and Catherine Keener (Trish) establish a believable, engaging relationship, capably supported by a stellar cast. The film hauled in a respectable $110 million at the box office and continues to do well on DVD. It was first released on December 13, 2005 as an R-Rated Fullscreen Edition, an Unrated Full Screen Edition, and an Unrated Widescreen Edition. A noteworthy gap—the R-rated Widescreen Edition—was filled shortly thereafter on January 24, 2006. 2006 also brought us a double package of The 40-Year-Old Virgin with American Wedding in both widescreen and fullscreen formats.
All of this brings us to The 40 Year-Old Virgin (Unrated 2-Disc Double Your Pleasure Edition). This is essentially a repackaging of The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Unrated Edition—reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum last year—with new features.
In his review, Brett made two key statements that also apply to this edition. The first is this:
Sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin in theatres, and felt it ran a little long. Now they have this unrated version, and it's seventeen minutes longer than the general release print. Jokes seem to go on far too long for their own good. This story didn't need fleshing out. The Academy Award-winning Crash (2004) from the same release year is ten minutes shorter than this movie. This is like the Gandhi of gross-out comedies. You could make a miniseries out of it. I almost wish they could have used a branching feature to allow you to chose either the original or extended version.
Like Brett, I found this version overlong. Ironically, the inserted scenes are almost seamless; though I've seen the movie twice, I couldn't clearly tell where new footage began and ended. This is a credit to the extended scenes and a compliment to the editors. Yet the extended cut is imbalanced. Andy's relationship with Trish doesn't take precedence until much later in the film, which changes the emphasis of the plot. Tertiary characters consume more time, and while those characters are funny they shouldn't be the focus of the film. When you're calling the film The 40 Year-Old Virgin, you aren't setting us up for an ensemble piece.
The second point has equal merit for this release:
The original slate of extras are all they're cracked up to be. The commentary is superlative, as are the gag reel, alternate takes, "Dinner with Stormy," and everything else. Most of those features made it onto this release except for "Deleted Sequence—Andy's Fantasies" and possibly the "surprises that are better left undescribed." But wait, there's more…
• Collectible packaging: O-Ring flap with hilarious Steve Carell
• Judd's Video Diaries
• Raw Footage and Rehearsals
• Reel Comedy Roundtable and Cinemax Final Cut: "The
With the same mediocre transfer (there are pervasive edge halos and dirt throughout) and the same soundtrack options, your choice is threefold: Hold on to the previous Unrated Edition, seek the rare widescreen theatrical cut, or pick up this release. If Universal had included the theatrical cut as an extra in this set, the choice would be clear: pick up the Unrated 2-Disc Double Your Pleasure Edition. But alas, it's not that clear cut.
If you are a casual movie fan who loves The 40-Year-Old Virgin for its sunny, outrageous humor, then stick with the previous release of your choice. If you're really interested in the mechanics of filmmaking and this film in particular, the new extras are worth a look. There are plenty of candid looks at the supporting cast, most notably co-producer Seth Rogen, who is hilarious at any time of day. The raw footage is somewhat dry but of interest, while the marketing blitz is glossy. The real gem is "Judd's Video Diaries," which offer true insight that will please his fans.
No matter which version you get, prepare to be charmed by the 40 year-old virgin.
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