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HAIL THE VIRGIN ANDY movie review of 40 year old virgin

By Dr. Robin Meyers  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Rhetoric and Reality

Because movies are the principle conveyers of value in our society, it was a bit surprising to find such an old-fashioned message in the wacky and vulgar comedy, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin. " If you 've seen it, you may have come away with a very surprising moral from a very surprising source: Hollywood.

One is drawn to the film by the absurdity of a middle-aged virgin, of course, and expects to laugh at Andy (played by Steve Carell of Anchorman) for having failed to find the Holy Grail. But in the end, it is Andy 's friends who seem pathetic, the ones who conspire to bring his years of sexual inexperience to an end.

They suggest that he pick up the drunkest girl in the bar, and he does so, only to have her vomit in his lap. They hire a prostitute, who turns out to be the wrong gender. They coach him on how to be the Alpha male, playing it cool and allowing women to talk about themselves but this doesn 't work either. Andy is afflicted by a strange condition. He doesn 't want to have sex with someone he doesn 't care about.

As the movie progresses, his friends from work (a Best-Buy look alike), begin looking more and more ridiculous, admitting that their exploits in Tijuana, where they went to see a show about a girl having sex with a horse, sounded cool at first, but turned out to be, "just gross. " They sit around playing sadomasochistic video games and take turns accusing each other of being "gay. "

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Meanwhile Andy falls in love with Trish (played by Catherine Keener), who turns out to be a very fetching grandmother, and who has pleaded with her teenage daughter to avoid sex. It falls on deaf ears since she clearly did not follow her own advice.

The relationship works at first only because she and Andy agree not to have sex. She helps him to grow up, get rid of a house full of action figures, and open his own store. When her daughter finds out that Andy is a virgin, she defends him, because he 's good to her mom.

The boys from work, meanwhile, keep trying to convince Andy that virginity is a pathology, and advise him that the secret to being a good lover is to have sex with someone he doesn 't care about enough times that he 'll be good at it when he 's with someone he does care about only to add, "even then you 'll be bad at it. "

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When Andy gets the opportunity to be with what the guys call a "trophy hookup, " he refuses, because he wants to wait for Trish. Strange as it may sound coming out of Hollywood, that black hole of moral depravity that is corrupting the youth of today, the message of this movie is clear: casual sex is shown to be pathetic, and sex in the context of a serious commitment is portrayed as genuinely erotic.

It could just be that more teenagers will respond to the message of this movie than to all the church-sponsored "True Love Waits " campaigns. And it might be wise for the Christian Right to admit that not everything that comes out of Hollywood is predictable and vile. In this case, a 40-year-old virgin who admits to not knowing what a breast feels like may seem ridiculous. But not as ridiculous as his friends, who don 't know what a real relationship feels like.

The movie can even be said to have a theological dimension. As Jason Byassee, writing in The Christian Century noted: "Theologian Sarah Coakley has observed that whereas moderns think talk about desire for God is veiled talk about desire for sex, ancient Christians assumed the opposite desire for sex is really veiled desire for God. "

In the case of the Virgin Andy, God really does move in mysterious ways.

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Dr. Robin Meyers is minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church of OKC, and professor of rhetoric in the philosophy department at Oklahoma City University. His forthcoming book, WHY THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT IS WRONG: A Minister 's Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, and Your Future, is due out next May. He can be contacted at rmeyers@okcu.edu

 

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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