101 Funniest Screenplays

Inherent in the title is a twist on the well-trod turf of teen films – the quest for first-time sex. But what if the teen is 40? No stranger to using the love act as a vehicle for comic mortification, Apatow this time has a grounding protagonist in the sweet and earnest Andy Stitzer (Steve Carrell). While Andy sees sex as a means to tying up a loose end (the end being manhood), he’s really groping for intimacy. Apatow and Carrell, who co-wrote the script, juxtapose Andy’s honest yearning against a pack of sexually experienced male advisors who serve as the film’s Greek chorus of arrested development and raunch. Apatow told the Los Angeles Times that Carrell pitched the idea for the character while they were making Anchorman. The script for 40-Year-old Virgin was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. It also helped launch an ongoing run of “bromances” at the multiplex.