Sunday, October 14, 2007

Worth the Wait?

A couple Sundays back I DVRed a movie off of HBO Comedy but we hadn't gotten around to watching it. Last night, my wife, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law and I did watch it - the 40 Year Old Virigin. Now, I had high expectations before seeing this film. I heard a lot of great things. Judd Apatow directed - loved his Freaks and Geeks show. Many actors I knew were in it. I expected greatness.

What it was like was more like that first time - awkward in parts, a little uncomfortable and not all skyrockets.

Now, I liked the premise - a guy is 40 who, due to circumstances, never has had sex yet. Sure, he is shown as a geek/nerd - with an apartment full of toys in their packages and a framed Asia poster. I was fine with that. I've known guys who could fall into this category very easily, virgin and all.

What I didn't like was the barrage of profanity in the first 20 minutes. It felt as though it was really there to get the film an R rating. I didn't find that funny. I found that uncomfortable. I like my humor for situations and reactions - not a barrage of F-bombs, a descriptive dialogue about female anatomy, etc. Maybe this was there to get the younger audience (early 20's) into the theatre. I don't know.

In the end, I'm glad I taped it to watch and didn't pay to see it in the theatre or on DVD. All I'm out is the time - which again wasn't so badly spent for most of the film. The love-story was worth the viewing time.


Michael O'Connell said...

Okay, warning you now, based on this post... Do NOT SEE "KNOCKED UP"!!! I saw this follow-up Apatow film in the theater, and within the first 15 minutes, a whole row of old folks in front of us got up and walked out. If the first 20 of Virgin didn't work for you, this is worse. Trust me. This film takes vulgarity to a whole new level. Just saving you a rental. :)

Now, as for "Virgin"? This is one where I'm going to feel differently. I love this damn film. I do. I love it for the same reason I love Apatow's other stuff. It's honest. It's real. At least, real to my life. That poker conversation? I've been there. That's what it's like hanging out with certain friends of mine. Fortunately, you seem to hang out with a classier bunch of people than me. :) That conversation will end up happening (generally when Kevin's in the mix...)every few parties, in that level of detail. To me, it was honest, not contrived, but again, that's based on my life experience.

I loved this film because of how smart it was. First, some of the comedy was so dead-on aimed at my sense of humor. "Be David Caruso in Jade"? I almost cried that was so funny! Buried beneath the vulgarity was some sharp, smart humor, stuff actually funny to me--unlike most comedies out there. But that's what made this movie so smart! For guys like me, there were the Coldplay jokes. But for those who either don't get such references or don't find that kind of stuff funny, there's wacky over-the-top physical bits to keep them happy. And to draw it all together, the reason why it really worked and made so many millions? You nailed it. The love story worked. There was a real, believable, and surprisingly honest love story in there. That's the same reason why Wedding Singer did so well. The Sandlerisms and the 80s jokes were funny, yes. But it connected with people and kept them coming back again and again because the chemistry was there and the love story just worked, and really grabbed people. This is why, by the way, though I liked Knocked Up a lot, it didn't quite work, because the love story wasn't believable. Watching it again (as I just did for the first time since the theater), I see that's it's probably a very realistic relationship story on many (sad) levels, but it didn't work on film, and didn't hook anyone. Well, then again, it did make an assload of money, so maybe it's just me...

By the way, what you didn't get to see via HBO was a (very) extended scene that's on the DVD, where the "Know how I know you're gay?" thing goes on (obviously improvised) between Rogen and Rudd for like 10 minutes, and it's insanely funny. This actually led to A.T. and I wondering if gay men play the "Know how I know you're straight?" game and us playing it for a while ("Know how I know you're straight? You have a 'support our troops' bumper sticker on your truck". "Know how I know you're straight? You like Nickelback".).

Virgin really worked for me (maybe because I saw it for the first time with the director's cut?). Looks like we're not going to agree on EVERY movie. Just 98% of them. :)

Martin said...

Mike, thank you for the indepth reply. You know I love those.

I too am an Apatow fanatic (you know I am). And, as I said, I loved the main story - it was real and honest.

I think had I seen the film with you guys that I probably would have not had any problem with the extended language. I think my issue was that I was watching it with my wife, my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law. I think what made me uncomfortable was with whom I was watching the film. I guess I just couldn't enjoy it as much with them.

Somehow when I heard the "Be David Caruso in 'Jade'" line, I immediately thought of you - my film loving friend.

If I ever get a chance to see it (or the extended version) again, I'll be sure to do it alone to better appreciate it.