The 40-Year-Old Virgin



A one-joke sex comedy that is not for kids.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: December 11, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The virgin means well, but he and his friends are crude, lusty, and childish.

Positive role models

Even though this comedy is raunchy, Andy is a stand-up guy who is looking for more than just sex. Something rare in a sex comedy.


Bloody violence on video and TV screens, as background; some antic mishaps (car crashes, bike accidents).


Relentless and slangy discussion of sex, some comedic activity, including the appearance of a "trannie prostitute." Non-sexual nudity and same-sex kiss.


Frequent cursing, vulgar references to genitalia and sex.


Generic electronics, coffee, and drinks; specific toys, action figures, and movie/tv references; t-shirts reference bands (Sonic Youth, Public Enemy).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, and pot-smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is focused on a man's effort to lose his virginity. To that end, it leans heavily on verbal jokes and sight gags related to sex: crude slang for sexual activity, genitals, erections, bodily fluids, breasts, and dildos. By way of example: the first joke has to do with a woman having sex with a horse, though the language is much coarser and repetitive. The virgin and his three male coworkers/friends spend most of their time talking about sex, showing off or complaining about their conquests. They make homophobic remarks, go to bars and parties, ogle women (at one point, they see two girls kiss), play violent video games and watch violent (Dawn of the Dead [1978]) and pornographic movies. Women wear revealing outfits (one shows a nipple during a speed-date conversation), drink, drive badly, and throw up. Characters drink repeatedly, smoke pot, and curse frequently; one smokes cigarettes when he's depressed and another spends long minutes trying to put on a condom. Soundtrack features songs about sex and sexual desire (for instance, Missy Elliot's "Get Ur Freak On").

What's the story?

Embarrassed that he's still a virgin at 40, nerdy Andy (Steve Carell) only confesses to his electronics store co-workers -- David (Paul Rudd), Jay (Weeds' Romany Malco), and Cal (Seth Rogen) -- when they guess the (obvious) truth during a late-night card game. As all share boastful stories about their sexual experiences, he lets slip his unfamiliarity with female body parts and they make it their mission to help him "get laid." They're soon joined by other Smart Tech employees, including Mooj (Gerry Bednob) and Haziz (Shelley Malil), vehicles for ethnic stereotype jokes.

Is it any good?


A one-joke movie, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN follows the tedious pattern of other recent boy-man movies: crude comedy leads to quaint romantic resolution. (This resolution has the cast performing numbers from Hair, layering sardonic and psychedelic onto quaint.)

For all its raunchiness, however, the movie (like Wedding Crashers, like Adam Sandler's work) ultimately and predictably endorses very traditional values, even suggesting that boy-men embody such values in themselves (and really, bungling men just need to be nurtured by accommodating, self-sacrificing women). Andy's really a nice guy waiting to be found out. And poor Trish (and Marla) only have to figure out how to service him.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about virginity as a "choice."

  • How does the movie make the case that, despite his friends' ribbing and his own embarrassment, the virgin represents a kind of romantic ideal, an earnest, awkward, sensitive man in search of a life partner?

  • Why is it significant that all the different men at the store -- Jewish, black, Pakistani, Caucasian -- behave equally badly around women? How does the movie represent women as peripheral or comic objects in relation to the self-centered but also sympathetic male characters?

  • How does Andy's dilemma serve as a metaphor for other, more often acknowledged forms of insecurity?

  • How does Andy learn to appreciate his difference, even as he tries so hard to "fit in"?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 19, 2005
DVD release date:December 13, 2005
Cast:Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell
Director:Judd Apatow
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:pervasive sexual content, language and some drug use

This review of The 40-Year-Old Virgin was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written bydouble E April 9, 2008

How can you not like this movie?

The 40 Year Old Virgin redefines the comedy category. It is one of my favorite comedies of all time, and, I consider myself a movie buff. The sex and language are very crude, but that doesn't take away the fact that the overall outcome of the movie is beautiful and teaches great morals. I'm not saying show this movie to anyone under 14, I'm saying before you guys out there say absolutely no to a 15 yr old, watch it, and think of the overall message it's sending. Greatest comedy of the last 5 years.
Teen, 16 years old Written bybeccabooluvsyou March 16, 2010
Parent Written byPlague March 15, 2010

The 40 Year Old Virgin

Just the cover should make you giggle. This movie is super funny. Adults and teens will love it.
What other families should know
Great messages


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