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    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    But, this week, The 40-Year-Old Virgin!


    Perhaps overdosing a bit on Madame Dargis, I had to check out this review of the new film, starring Steve Carell (of Daily Show fame, apparently).
    Passing the poster in the 14th St/6th Ave subway, I saw that someone had scrawled, "Sexist!" across it. Then I thought, "Is it?" I said to my partner, A, that such a movie would never be made about a woman. But if it were about a woman, it would be about a woman who was ambiguous in her gender/sexual orientation enough that straight guys thought she was gay and dykes thought she was hetero or people were unsure that she was a woman. A disagreed, saying that a similarly geeky (to Mr. Carell) woman could have a similar film.

    It's very common for a woman's "unsexiness" to be played up, but the notion of a woman getting to forty without sex would yield the assumption that she'd chosen to be a virgin (for religious reasons, for example) rather than that no one had wanted her or that she hadn't had the guts to pursue someone she wanted. I get the feeling that the joke of the film is that this guy is so innocent and geeky that he never "made it happen" and, since it is supposed to be men who take control of these situations, Carell's character is left virginal.

    One nice thing is that Hollywood seems to have gotten the language of my generation- guys are "virgins" too. From what I hear, women/girls were the only ones defined that way until the Reagan era.

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