Blame obsessive re-editing for the glaring narrative gaps in this otherwise sterling sex comedy, which has the rhythmic flow of a DVD viewed on "random play." Its jerky cadences, however, can't disguise that it's a mainstream moviegoing experience to savor, full of hilariously honest moments essayed by a brilliant ensemble cast. When his virginal status is outed at work, an electronics salesman (Steve Carell) is thrust so to speak into the very world of easy intimacy he's tried so assiduously to avoid. He gets plenty of questionable guidance from his horndog co-workers, a sleazy bunch that director/co-writer Judd Apatow manages to make both loathsome and irresistibly collegial. The movie, though, belongs to Carell, whose simply staggering performance as the sweet, toy-collecting title character sets a new standard in the rendering of underdog archetypes. If there's a cinematic mile marker for the progress of the geek in our society, it's this film, which might just turn the old brickbat, "You need to get laid," into a compliment of the highest order.
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