Kathmandu:

The cover of 40 Year-Old-Virgin with its sub title, The Longer You Wait The Harder It Gets, sums the movie up. It’s stag fun time in an almost Hitchcockian vein which is not so much, “Who Dunnit?” as, “When is he gonna do it?”

The movie has scene-stealer Steve Carell playing a sort of hero for the first time and he is likeable, funny and going to be a hit soon. He has proved his comedy worth in Anchorman and Bruce Almighty, and with 40 Year-Old-Virgin he’s set to move into high comedic form.

In Virgin, Carell plays Andy the virgin, who is surrounded by a group of male stereotypes. Jay is an unfaithful black man with friends in prison; Dave a lovelorn obsessive, and Cal a filthy-minded pot-smoker. Each teaches Andy something about dealing with women, even if it’s only to trust his own instincts.

Says critic Anna Smith from Sight and Sound magazine, “The movie is funny. Carell delivers some great ad-libbing in a scene in which Andy is chest-waxed; and as Dave, Paul Rudd’s sudden shift from lovesick puppy into dishevelled, crazed stalker is amusing and not at all over-played. Carell’s bursting into song in the film’s final scene is a welcome surreal touch that makes it hard not to like this messy, mischievous cult comedy in the making.”

Critic Fetzer adds, “Cult comic actor Steve Carell — long adored for his supporting work turns into leading man status with 40 Year-Old Virgin. There’s no point describing the plot; it’s about how a 40-year-old virgin named Andy (Carell) finally finds true love and gets laid. Along the way, there are very funny scenes involving being coached by his friends, speed dating, being propositioned by his female manager, and getting his chest waxed. Carell finds both humour and humanity in Andy, and the supporting cast includes some standout comic work from Paul Rudd and Jane Lynch as well as an unusually straight performance from Catherine Keener. There are many great bits, and Carell deserves the chance to shine.”

While the movie was being filmed in May, Premiere magazine interviewed Carell who said, “I just thought the concept of a guy my age who had never had sex being called out on it was really funny. He plays a shy electronics-store worker whose friends try to help him with his secret until he falls in love. He goes from having no human contact to the most heavily burdened, committed relationship of all time, and she doesn’t know he’s a virgin.”

Carell express shock that art-house fave Keener signed on. “People will get the feeling this might actually be something of substance,” laughs Carell. “She absolutely legitimises this movie.”

Now Hair This: In the ultimate sacrifice for comedy, Carell had his chest waxed. “I had a clown face on my chest,” he says. “That’s the pattern they decided to rip in.”

The 40-Year-Old-Virgin even has two characters from our sub-continent who are absolutely hilarious as well as a phone call to a call centre in Bombay that makes the movie relevantent to audiences here. My favourite line comes from a bit player who says “Teach me dude”. Watch for it.