While Wedding Crashers had the more purely hilarious moments, Virgin had the better story and had the advantage of Steve Carrell and the Anchorman crew. Frankly I was shocked that we didn't get a cameo from any of Stiller, Wilson or Ferrell.
It was finely acted, hilariously written, dialogue very true to what people sound like and the overall concept is fresh. The side characters didn't bother me. They all sort of brought something to the table. Carell was good and was entertaining enough (sorta), but of all the characters, I think Carell had the least amount of funny. He leaned heavily on his physical to get his laughs, which is fine. I have to admit that I did like the cutesy 'off beat' soundtrack.
The biggest downside of this movie was the second half, which was all sloppy and looong. Carell started acting out of character. It warped into the sub-standard romantic-comedy that felt forced and it had vague conservative messages about sex.
I guess when push comes to shove I ended up disappointed by this flick. In the same way I was disappointed by movies like Anchorman, Mean Girls and Bruce Almighty. Going in to them I expected to see some comedy goodness and while they start off promising and stuff, it all succumbs to the sellout 'let's turn this dopey concept into a real movie with a real message' thing.
Maybe I'm being too negative on it, or maybe it's because it's the story of a geeky guy with shelves full of action figures working in an electronics store that hits painfully close to home.
I really liked this movie when it first came out, but future viewings have not been so kind to it. Maybe it's because I've grown too jaded for romance to sink in on a comedy the way it should.
What we really need now is a movie combining the Ben Stiller crew with the Will Ferrell crew. It could star Stiller, both Wilsons, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. No clue who they could find to direct or what script could possibly live up to the comedic potential, but they might as well give it a try.
Recommended for romantic-comedy completists.
I'd go *1/2.