Last night, I was fortunate enough to get an invite to a press screening of 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'. I had not seen any trailers or ads (blame Tivo) for this film, so I didn't have too high of expectations. OK, I did have some expectations, as contributors like Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared), Steve Carell (Daily Show, Anchorman), and Seth Rogan (pretty much everything that Judd produces, writes, or directs) have shown substantial talent in the past. Steve Carell plays protagonist Andy Stitzer. Yeah, he’s 40 and he still hasn’t done it. He has no social life, and lives a solitary after-hours existence hand painting models in an apartment full of action figures and other geek accoutrement. Once his ‘Big Box’ store coworkers at the Big Box store figure it out, they embark on a mission to get Andy laid, and hilarity ensues. No, really. Hilarity does ensue. Sure, most of the laughs are from dirty jokes and physical humor, but they are really good one-liners and mishaps. This film evokes the unabashed R-rated comedies of the 70s, and is loaded with gay jokes, racial (not racist) humor, excessive drinking, old men swearing, lots of pot smoking, and the funniest condom gags I’ve ever seen. All of the jokes are framed in the plot of having Andy chase young hotties around the single bars and bookstore, while inching ever so closely towards a relationship, and commitment, with the mature, free-spirited Trish (Catherine Keener). The ever-watchable Ms. Keener is starting to show her years, but she can still pull off the same saucy ‘Cool Chick’ characters like she portrayed in ‘Living in Oblivion’ and ‘Being John Malkovich’. As Andy’s secret and Trish’s issues head down the collision course towards the film’s denouement, the plot becomes predictable but remains entertaining we enjoy more character development than is found in the typical ‘dumb comedy’. Paul Rudd and Romany Malco deliver serviceable supporting performances as two of Steve’s buddies, but Seth Rogan steals the show as stoner Cal. Elizabeth Banks shines as perverted, horny bookseller Beth; Peter Parker can only wish that her Betty Brant were so kinky. As in typical Apatow vehicles, music is used to good effect; highlights include the appearance of supergroup Asia in both poster and soundtrack form, and the film’s closing scene: a hilarious classic musical number from a famous hippie Broadway show. In the end, the characters are likeable, the laughs keep coming, and the story is cute. I give it a very solid stars out of . I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. This film succeeds where similar fare like ‘Wedding Crashers’ and ‘The Anchorman’ fall slightly short. I hope this film succeeds at the box office and we see additional unrestrained projects from Mr. Apatow in the future.