Sunday, April 17, 2011

Male Sexuality and Comedy: A Perspective On The 40 Year Old Virgin


It's no secret that Hollywood likes to treat male sexuality and male sexual problems and health as a form of comedy. Films like American Pie, Porky's, Revenge Of The Nerds and many countless others have followed this formula time and time again. The 40 Year Old Virgin follows this formula, to an extent.

For those who haven't seen the movie, the plot goes like this: A 40 year old virgin tries to lose his virginity but in the process learns more about himself and his friends learn more about themselves and relationships along the way.

The film has its typical comedy but what sets it apart from all of the other films is that the viewer is meant to sympathize with Andy. On the surface it's a comedy but the subtext of the film tries to explore the double standards of how male sexuality and male sexual health is looked at and treated in popular culture. Male sexuality and sexual health and problems are treated as a joke while female sexuality and sexual problems are treated in a more serious and delicate manner.

Why the double standard?

I believe that men and women are different, yet equal at the same time. So shouldn't the sexual problems and health of men and women be treated in a serious and comedic manner? The 40 Year Old Virgin treats male sexuality and sexual problems in a comedic but in a sweet, sensitive and honest manner as well. I hate to bring this show up because I despise it so much for many different reasons but at the very least Sex And The City does try to put a comedic light on female sexuality, in a way going against popular culture and Hollywood's views on how female sexuality should be treated. 

The 40 Year Old Virgin as a film tries to draw in the male audience with its comedy but also draw in the female audience with its tenderness and exploration of sex and relationships.

I don't have any issues with sex jokes or putting a comedic light on male and female sexuality, nor do I have an issue with treating male and female sexuality in a serious manner either.

What I would like to see is male sexuality being treated in a more honest and serious manner and female sexuality being treated with a comedic light and vice versa. If there are a few movies with those approaches, I think the playing field will be even.

My name is Maricruz Gonzalez and I'm the Movie Bitch... because somebody has to be!

Stay Sassy Planet Earth!