Written around the concept of virginity as something that can be “lost”, the movie is a portrayal of the range of reactions from various people as a result of finding a sexually inexperienced man in his forties.
For the main character played by Carrell, the idea of having sex with someone has passed him by. He is forty years old and hasn’t had an opportunity to experience the very natural but elusive-for-him act of lovemaking. Once his workmates discover this fact, he is forced to face a varying range of emotions staring with embarrassment, followed by ridicule and mirth at his expense.
Getting him laid essentially becomes a “challenge” for his newfound friends. As a part of this endeavour they make him flirt with a drunk woman at a bar, only to have her stomach upturn on him. They also (unintentionally) hire a transvestite prostitute, have him undergo a painful waxing procedure and also gift him a large collection of pornographic videos. After all of these embarrassing moments and misadventures, he finally meets a woman, Trish that instantly takes a liking for him. While bedding her is one of the primary concerns on his mind, his initial attempts are thwarted when they are “caught” by her previously unknown daughters. Embarrassed at the event, she recommends delaying sex until they’re more comfortable with each other. This is a disguised blessing as he’s able to hide his inexperience for longer. It works well until the she’s really interested in him and ready to make love. Still not comfortable talking about his virginity, he rejects her advances which hurts her feelings. After a brief period of separation and misunderstandings they realize the importance of their relationship and rush back into each others arms. Andy is also able honestly acknowledge his “secret”, which turns out to not be a big deal for her. They get married and he finally gets to have coitus, the quality of which is portrayed in the form of song and dance.
As mentioned in my previous post, romantic comedies are like designing a story with alternating moments of love and separation. The script’s primary relationship between Andy and Trish manifests in that quintessential form. They both are unaware of each other, until they meet and hit it off. Following which the audience is expected to root for them to meet. This goes well until the first conflict arises with Trish’s daughter walking in on them about to have sex. This destroys Andy’s chance at sex while also causing the secondary problem of exposing Trish’s familial baggage, causing them to drift apart once more. They start moving closer again when they resolve to date each other for a while without having sex. This goes on for a while until the time finally comes and Andy has cold feet leading him to reject Trish’s advances and them moving apart again. This flip-flop happens again when Trish suspects Andy to be a serial killer of sorts and is afraid of him, until Andy gets into a deadly accident when trying to convince her. Every point signifies an inversion in the direction of the relationship. In order to escalate the tension, the duration between successive flips also reduces as the movie progresses.
The movie also “teaches” to the audience that maybe Andy’s situation isn’t all that problematic. There are definite moments for every supporting character where they envy Andy’s virginal aspects, often due to sexual complications in their own relationships. All of them are come to the conclusion that sex is not the be-all end`-all of their lives. While some might call this a bit unnecessary or even preaching, in most cases the resulting plot deviations are minor and forgivable.
The movie portrays Andy’s unboxed toy collection, his video games and painted figurines as leading directly to his virginity. His dehabituation and riddance from all these aspects of his personality are a part of the process of losing his virginity. The movie claims that he’s using these things as substitutes for real emotional contact with other humans. This minor symbolism is well incorporated into the plot and mostly remains in the background and is a good thing.
It is a satisfying picture, the cringe where present is worthy, the humor is mostly well placed. The plot meanders a bit especially around Trish’s children and Beth’s involvement but still manages to wrap well enough. Some parts are very obviously lurid, but the title itself serves as a fair warning in my opinion. Good enough that if you end up watching it, you won’t regret it.
Rating: 3/5 (Average)