You know how sometimes a really stocked Special Edition DVD will come out, but you're just sure the DVD producers left some extra goodies lying in the vault so they could unleash an Extra-Special Edition a few years later? Well, it just happened again, and while I usually hate this obvious marketing ploy, in the case of the 40-Year-Old Virgin: 2-Disc Double Your Pleasure Special Edition, I'm willing to make an exception. Why, you ask? Because the people who made the movie are just that damn funny.
If you haven't seen The 40-Year-Old Virgin since its theatrical release, you're missing out on one of the most comfortably re-watchable comedies of the past ten years. Both the single-disc and this new dual-discer contain on the "unrated" version, which runs about 17 minutes longer than the multiplex version. And while a lot of the gags offered within those 17 minutes are really very funny, the movie simply seems a bit longer than it needs to be. But if you're having a good time, what's an extra 17 minutes between friends, right?
You remember the cleverly simple story, of course: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a perfectly nice 40-year-old nerd who works in an electronics store and leads a pretty sheltered life of video games and action figures. But when three of his Normal Joe co-workers invite Andy to sit in on a poker game, the guys discover Andy's secret. (It's right there in the movie's title.) Thus begins a warm-hearted, foul-mouthed, breast-obsessed and consistently hilarious ensemble comedy that (I'll say it again) really gets more appealing on repeat viewing. (For all the silliness and potty-mouthedness, 40YOV is actually a very sweet movie too.)
And while the flick is entirely Steve Carell's vehicle in every way, writer/director Judd Apatow is smart enough to surround the guy with all sorts of amusing people: Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch and the shockingly funny Gerry Bednob steal scene after scene, but still allow Carell to take center stage. And what a great decision it was to cast the excellent Catherine Keener as the sweet-natured love interest in a mainstream studio-produced comedy. For that choice alone I'd like to shake Apatow's hand.
But I'm probably just spinning my wheels here, seeing as you've almost definitely seen the movie already, and right now you're either nodding your head in enthusiastic agreement or you're about to go read some other Cinematical article -- so let's just move on to the meat of the matter: The extra features. More specifically, the extra features that are NEW to the "Double Your Pleasure" Edition.
First off, if you already own the one-disc edition, feel free to toss it up for sale on eBay or give it to a friend who needs a copy. Not only are there plenty of new goodies here, but all of the original extras (save for the theatrical trailer) have been ported over to the 2-discer. There's a very entertaining audio commentary with Apatow and perhaps 75% of his cast; approximately twelve minutes of (mostly amusing) deleted scenes with optional Apatow / Rogen commentary; an extended cut of the "You Know How I Know You're Gay?" sequence; numerous alternate takes from the infamous chest-waxing scene; some very funny excised bits from the Date-a-Palooza section; a short and strange sequence called "My Dinner with Stormy"; a bunch of alternate gags called Line-o-Rama; and a flub-laden gag reel.
Again, that's all the stuff from the original DVD that's also included on the new edition. Exclusive to the "Double Your Pleasure" package are the following: Some deleted scenes that (oh so curiously) never made it into the first DVD; a series of "video diaries" from Judd Apatow that are definitely worth picking through; nearly twenty previously-unseen moments of "Raw Footage" in which Mr. Carell goes through a variety of line readings, alternate jokes and bemused reactions; five minutes of audition footage from several of the supporting actors; a really strange '70s-style "sex ed" mini-movie; and not one but two promotional pieces: one from Cinemax's "Final Cut" and the other from Comedy Central's "Reel Comedy Roundtable."
And here's some Universal / Apatow synergy at work: Buy a copy of the 40YOV "Double Your Pleasure" Edition and you'll get one free ticket to see Apatow's Knocked Up, which opens on June 1 and is a movie I love nearly as much as this one. Bottom line: If you don't already own the Virgin, the new 2-disc set is the one you want. If you do already own the DVD, and you've watched it more than four times in the last twelve months ... this 2-disc set is the one you want. Casual fans, haters and prudes needn't bother with either edition.