I don’t even think I could do what he’s thinking.
When easy-on-the-eyes Matt Sullivan (Josh Hartnett) is dumped by his girlfriend, he swears off all sex for Lent, which lasts 40 days and 40 nights. But his abstinence is tested when he meets beautiful and sexy Erica Sutton (Shannyn Sossamon). Feeling like he’s doomed if he doesn’t stick to his plan, he struggles to resist the girl of his dreams.
I remember seeing this when I was back in like 6th grade, and I thought to myself “WOW, this so funny, and dirty its one of my favorites”. I thought about that same thing with Saving Silverman, except that one holds up more with me today.
The film isn’t bad and the laughs are delivered up to the point that Matt is raped by his ex-girlfriend. A point which is quickly glossed over and played off as humorous by the film. From then on it is hard to have anything but contempt for this film, the actors who contributed, or anyone else involved. Were the roles reversed and woman raped the outcry would have been tremendous. As it is, there is barely a peep.
There was so much with this premise that could have been hilarious and taken you right out of your seat. Instead, they go for the over-sexed jokes. I liked where they were going about this sex in the meaning of life, but the film takes that meaningful idea down, with sex jokes that are too over played.
I think Josh Hartnett is OK in this film, and although he does got the charm the film promises, I just didn’t see him being anything more than just a wild, and crazy sex addict. I wanted to like him more, but the transition his character went through was as much as low-level, to highly new nice dude. The most interesting people and performances from the cast was his co-workers who had a pool on him, and I found some of their scenes to be funny, if way too random.
Consensus: 40 Days and 40 Nights has an interesting premise with some nice thoughts about sex, but are taken down by too much sex jokes that don’t work or just so grotesque, and a lead character that barely transforms his personality.
One night that was just about meeting a girl turned out to be a night from hell.
Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) embarks on a trip to New York City’s SoHo district in hopes of hooking up with a recent acquaintance, the beautiful Marcy Franklin (Rosanna Arquette). But Paul loses all his money, and just to get back home he must endure a night of kooks, psychotics, punks and an angry mob trying to kill him.
While everything you read about this film refers to it as a “comedy”, the majority of the laughs in this film are of the nervous, uncomfortable kind. If you’re looking for an inventive, edgy, intelligent dark bon bon-then you’ve chosen the right film.
The style and look that Scorsese uses in this film is great. He gives a late-night dark look at a place that we all know and love, but he shows us the darker parts of it and shows ugly the inside of New York really is. People generations from now can find out what the real New York looked in the 80′s when they watch this film.
Another great thing about this film is that a lot of these quirky people seem so real, like they live on the same street you do. You have the happy people, homosexuals, punks, and the upsetting depressive people. And putting this yuppie character who is not used to seeing stuff like this is a great combination of zany and unpleasant. There really are a lot of weirdos out there, and sometimes you don’t realize it until you encounter them in a circumstance that brings that weirdness out.
The acting is superb from much of the cast. Mostly from the lead of Griffin Dunne who not many know but is a supporting actor in many of the big films of today(40 Days and 40 Nights, My Girl). He totally shows the nervousness of this rich character and shows how at every scene he is closer to the point of just going insane. It is a real surprise to me how he didn’t get bigger roles after this was made. Also a lot of cameos from some very well-known stars of today such as Cheech and Chong, Catherine O’Hara, and Roseanne Arquette all show up in their starts in the film industry which I thought was pretty cool as well.
The only problem I had with this film that the whole movie is so dark and so unfortunate that you think nothing else can get better for this guy, and then the ending comes up and it is like a big screw you, to the whole film. The resolution is not very rewarding and also very disappointing so this is what ultimately killed it.
This is surely a great film with a great style, pacing, and a wonderful performance from the lead Griffin Dunne. This is not hilariously funny but funny in a awkward kind of way. Surely one of the biggest understated films from Martin Scorcese.