Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2005. Universal Pictures, Apatow Productions. Screenplay by Judd Apatow, Steve Carell. Cinematography by Jack N. Green. Produced by Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson, Clayton Townsend. Music by Lyle Workman. Production Design by Jackson De Govia. Costume Design by Debra McGuire. Film Editing by Brent White. American Film Institute 2005. Boston Film Critics Awards 2005. New York Film Critics Awards 2005.
An introverted electronics store employee (Steve Carell) finally gets to know his fellow co-workers at a late-night poker game and reveals to them his embarrassing secret: he’s 40 years old and has never had sex. They, being the good friends that they are, decide to do everything in their power to cure him of his virginity, but he decides his chances are improving when he meets a beautiful E-bay retailer (Catherine Keener) with an irresistible laugh. He begins to date her, but their awkward and sometimes disastrous first attempts at intimacy prompt him to beg off on consummation for a while and concentrate solely on emotional connection. Although too long and far too mellow in its pacing, this surprise hit comedy succeeds because of likable characters and take-no-prisoners style humour: these guys reveal the down and dirty, politically incorrect discussions that men get up to when no one’s listening, and the acidic contrast to the truly lovable relationship that Carell and Keener (who has broken from the typecasting of the smart bitch persona) have makes for a richer experience than you’d expect. There are never any knee-slapping, gargantuan laughs, but there are plenty of healthy chuckles.