Region 2 (UK) Edition  [Region 2 coded only]

Reviewed by Richard Spurr

Director Judd Apatow

Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco


First up, a confession. I was dreading seeing this film. Not sure why I took on this commission at all in fact! I hate the kind of gross out comedy you find in film like American Pie and Road Trip. From everything I'd seen on the film, The 40 Year Old Virgin looked like another dumb film from that genre.

Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth. Although there is the occasional joke you might find in an American Pie type film for the most party this is a witty and entertaining film.

The films premise is a simple one. Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell, star of the American version of The Office) is a Virgin. He also 40 years old (do you see where they get the title of the film from now!?!). His work colleagues, Cal (Seth Rogen, Freaks and Geeks), Jay (Romany Malco, Weeds) and David (Paul Rudd, Friends) discover this fact and resolve to help Andy lose his virginity. And that's basically it.

The film isn't without its problems. At two hours seven minutes long it drags in places and could easily have had twenty minutes cut from it without effect the (admittedly slim) storyline. It's also a disjointed film. It feels more like a collection of sketches rather than an actual storyline. Not a lot of thought seems to have gone into the storyline, the writers and director (perhaps rightly) concentrating on making the audience laugh rather than making the story make sense. There are a couple of scenes that are left unresolved that really needed to be.

Despite all that it is a good entertaining film that won't waste two hours of your life on if you watch it.

It's worth noting that the UK DVD version is the "XXL Version" of the film, which contains seventeen minutes of additional footage. This is presumably the same as the US DVD Unrated version, which is also extended by seventeen minutes. Universal's US division puzzles American DVD buyers as much as their UK operation mystifies UK consumers. In the US there are three separate DVD editions: an extended widescreen edition, an extended full-frame version, and a full-frame version of the R-rated theatrical edit. There is no option to buy a widescreen version of the theatrical version of the film.


The disc opens in an extremely annoying fashion. When you put the disc in it plays an anti-piracy advert which you can't skip. I'm all for putting this kind of thing on the disc if it helps stop piracy but it should have been made skippable. You can fast-forward through it, but being able to press the next chapter button to move on would have been so much easier. As it stands it takes a minute and twenty-seven seconds just to get to the main menu!

The menu set-up is extremely simple, no animated nonsense here. The only problem is the buttons for turning the commentary on and off. To say they are baffling is an understatement! Instead of saying on/off which would be the sensible option they have instead put two boxes, one a blank oblong and one with a cross in the middle that makes it look like the “You've Got Mail” sign turned on its side. Took me a couple of minutes to figure out that one with the cross plays the extras with the commentary and one without plays it without. In fact, I just had to go double check the disc so that I got that the right way round for this review!

The transfer of the film and the extras is good, what you'd expect from a modern film. The transfer is sharp, and there are some signs of artificial sharpening. The film is virtually free from dirt. The film has a muted palette, but the colour balance is naturalistic. Film grain is evident, but there are no compression-related artefacts.

The main feature is an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer while the extras are 4:3 but presented in their correct aspect ration throughout. There is only one audio option: a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. This is a modest mix, weighted to the front channels. Dialogue is invariably locked to the centre channel, and is clear and distinct.

Bit-rate for the main feature is reasonably healthy, peaking at around 8.5Mb/sec, and never dipping below 5Mb/sec. The average bit-rate is 5.37Mb/sec. The extras are equally well served.


Extras-wise this is a strong but, like the film, a disjointed set. There are three pages of extras which makes it look like there will be a wide variety of goodies to watch. However, on clicking on them you quickly discover that all but a couple of them turn out to be deleted scenes! Amazingly for a film that is over-long there is a lot of deleted material. A lot of the film seems to have been improvised on set so a lot of this stuff, is present on the disc. Funny as it is leaving it in the film would have made it even more disjointed than it already is (one of the improve scenes is ten minutes long!). The scenes have found their natural home on DVD.

There are two featurettes. There's a short piece on the making of the waxing scene (watch the film to find out more about that!) which is the only behind the scenes footage present on the disc. There is also a piece called My Dinner With Stormy where co-producer Seth Rogen “interviews” Stormy for the role of the porn star. A staged piece done for DVD comic effect it really doesn't work.

Also on there is a good gag reel and a couple of trailers, neither of which are the trailer for The 40 Year Old Virgin! Instead you get the trailers for Serenity and The Skeleton Key.

There are no interviews on the disc, not even the sanitised boredom that is an electronic press kit. Call me a cynic but I wonder if that's all being held back for a special edition six months down the road?

In addition to the above there is a commentary on some of the deleted scenes by co-writer/director Judd Apatow (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Freaks and Geeks) and actor/co-producer Seth Rogen. Entertaining, and informative, its strange that they don't commentate on all the deleted scenes. Also there's no commentary on the actual film either!


Overall, this is an entertaining film given a decent transfer to DVD with a good selection of extras. I'm sure more could have been done on the extras front (the lack of behind the scenes stuff and interviews is irksome but maybe none were filmed since I'm sure the film performed way above what was expected of it in terms of box office returns) but that is a minor quibble. Richard says – buy it!


* The sleeve of the DVD says "The 40 Year-Old Virgin". The disc menus say "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin". The on-screen title has no hyphens at all: it's called The 40 Year Old Virgin.

A promotional trailer for the DVD can be found here.









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