My sister and I caught a sneak preview of The 40-Year-Old Virgin Monday night. Entrance was no guarantee: only 200 or so tickets were available, and at least 500 people showed up. I could only conclude that, good or not, this film is going to be huge. Fortunately, it's good.
This picture pretty much says it all. What makes the film work is the friendship among these four guys -- it was a stroke of brilliance to cast two relative unknowns (Romany Malco and Seth Rogen) in the better roles, and let Paul Rudd shine in a limited context. Also refreshing was a lack of cameos; the film feels small-scale and therefore funnier and more genuine.
Then there's Steve Carell. You can tell there were certain moments where his ad-libbing produces some real, non-acting chuckles from his co-stars. (I have a feeling that he shouted out a certain American Idol's name during the already infamous chest-waxing scene when he ran out of swear words.) Again, a low-budget charm. The film merits its R-rating for various reasons, but it's a cleaner and better sex comedy than I anticipated.