40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)

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.


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