The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It
Since the Scary Movie franchise turned into an annual parody review of the year type affair the period between things actually being made and them being spoofed has reduced almost to nothing. This phenomenon means that things that don’t deserve to be parodied are being parodied, most notably pop culture detritus such as television adverts and rubbish films no one has seen. We can now add films that were actually funny in the first place to this list.
If it wasn’t clear enough from the title The 41-Year-Old Virgin… spoofs Judd Apatow produced comedy. However, after watching opening 20 minutes you would be forgiven for thinking you had actually bought a Judd Apatow boxset, as not only are many memorable scenes re-enacted but director Craig Moss has cast some dead ringers to play each of the characters. To add another element of confusion each one of these characters is named after the actor who originally played the character upon which that character is a parody of. So, for example, the character based on Seth Rogen’s character in Knocked Up is called Seth. The character based on Michael Cera’s character in Superbad is called Michael. The whole thing takes place in a bizzaro parallel universe, the final twist of which seems to be that the humour of the original films has been replaced with cock jokes, poo jokes, vomit jokes and general vulgarity.
As The 41-Year-Old Virgin… plays out the same scenarios with less amusing results it becomes clear that this is the filmic equivalent of watching a very bad tribute band murdering their source material. For example when McAnalovin’ (seriously) goes to buy alcohol in the bizarro spoof version, the shop clerk is a blind lady and she sniffs the ID like a dog to determine it’s fake. As well as obviously being quite offensive this routine simply isn’t as funny as the one played out in Superbad.
Other than the Judd Apatow filmography, also spoofed are the US paedophile entrapment show To catch a Predator (this was done better on south park about 4 years ago), the computer game Grand Theft Auto (this was done better a full 8 years ago on the Dave Chapelle show) and Yoda, you know, Yoda who originally appeared in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Maybe you guys could do the Odessa steps scene next! Or how about Taxi Driver? You talkin’ to me? Ha ha. No. To call these references uninspired is being generous as some of them are bordering on straight plagiarism – the finale for example, a scene where the titular virgin’s aching, blue balls erupt in an endless shower of semen, is directly lifted from Scary Movie.
The DVD extras are actually quite good as far as extras go – the highlights include a tongue in cheek making-of documentary which is funnier than the movie itself, and a short film on how they cast the Jonah Hill lookalike, a man who looks and acts so scarily like Jonah Hill it’s unreal. That’s right, the highlight of this DVD is a short film about someone looking like someone else. But what else can we take from from this experience? Well, should you ever try and spoof comedies? If you’re not as funny as the original writers the answer is no, no you should not.