Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Some Thoughts on This Week's Latest Comedy

Sex has become so desacralized, it seems hard to believe that anyone, especially an apparently healthy man living in the age of Madonna and Maxim, Pamela and Paris, has managed to avoid getting some with someone, somewhere, at some point. Thirteen years ago, when Madonna released her hardcover, soft-core elegy to her body and herself, there was still something novel, even a little shocking about sex as a public performance. Now, with sexually explicit videos a rite of celebrity passage, hard-core pornography just a mouse click away and the girl next door having metamorphosed into a girl gone wild, or so it would seem, who isn't doing it?

Andy, for one: a loner geek by circumstance rather than conviction, this accidental virgin works in an electronics store with the usual bunch of genial misfits. The rest of the time, Andy tends to his solitude in a modest Southern California apartment crammed with boyhood collectibles, many still in their original packaging. He likes to watch "Survivor" with his neighbors ("I'll bring the soda!"), an elderly couple who cluck over him like grandparents, but Andy seems most at ease surrounded by these regressive totems. Among his prize possessions are action figures, including of the Six Million Dollar Man (and the Six Million Dollar Man's boss) and miniature toy soldiers he meticulously paints under a magnifying glass, imparting to them a richness of detail absent from his own life.

Andy puts away these childish things at least temporarily after three of his fellow workers stumble onto his secret, throwing a wrench into his orderly, celibate existence. One night, while attempting to share a tale of sexual braggadocio, he compares a woman's breast to a "bag of sand." Quickly scoping out the truth of his situation, the three embark on a rescue mission to deflower (by proxy) this shrinking violet. But the guys are hapless when it comes to women - one is brokenhearted (Paul Rudd as David), one is a compulsive cheat (Romany Malco as Jay), the third is merely clueless (Seth Rogen as Cal) - and their schemes invariably fizzle rather than sizzle, often to sidesplitting effect.

Another installment in the "Guy Tries to Loose it in Under 120 minutes" Collection.

Instead of going with this school of hedonism, Amy Welborn posts some articles on consecrated virgins-

Judith Stegman wants to reclaim the word "virgin" from the jokes, satire and stigma.

When people ask whether she's married, the 49-year-old Haslett resident replies, "Yes, and no."

"I'm not married to a man, but I'm far from being single," Stegman tells people. "I'm a consecrated virgin in the Catholic Church."

At a time when virginity is getting the Hollywood laugh-track treatment -- the movie "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" opened Friday and was No. 1 at the box office over the weekend, raking in $20.6 million -- Stegman wants to celebrate the V-word for its beauty and integrity.

"An important part of being this," she said, "is not to be afraid to say it."

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