40 Days and 40 Nights (2002) Poster

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Spoiler : Highly offensive ending...
follower-fillet22 July 2002
Warning: Spoilers

While most of the offensive and insulting material in this film is unsurprising and rather dependent on one's moral point of view I have to agree with HEP632 and Malmir comments regarding the final scene with the lead character and his ex-girlfriend. It is inexcusable that this rape scene is treated so casually.
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rape is never OK
astev9tu22 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
OK, so the movie wasn't great. Not bad, but not great either. I'm sure you've read a million plot summaries by now. Some good laughs, some cheesy dialogue...

(what follows is a spoiler, but I recommend you read it before seeing the movie) And then comes the rape scene.

Thank you to all the other comments posted acknowledging that rape is bad. Having non-consentual sex with a bound, drunk, delirious ex-lover? This is what passes as OK in Hollywood these days? The worst part is the fact that not only is the fact that it was rape never mentioned in the rest of the movie, but the victim is held responsible! I actually signed up for an IMDb account JUST to condemn this film. I'm sickened by having watched that filth.
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I didn't know the 21st century looked like this!
hep63214 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
It doesn't take much to get me to go to a movie, and I had high hopes for a movie with a) Josh Hartnett, and b) a clever premise. I looked forward to insightful and funny commentary about the relationship between sex and love and men and women in our post-modern world. What I got was breasts. Lots and lots of breasts. While the movie does a fairly good job (by Hollywood standards) of including a panoply of attractive women instead of a cookie-cutter ideal, the women are ultimately reduced to meaningless bodies that crave the "power" that sex supposedly gives them.


I could go on in that vein for hours, but what REALLY made me almost walk out on this film is the fact that Matt, the hero, is RAPED by is ex-girlfriend in the final minutes of the movie. Did nobody at the studio recognize that act for what it is? If the gender roles were reversed in that scene, it would have totally changed the mood and content of the film. As it was, I kept waiting for Matt, or ANYBODY, to call the police. Instead, movie goers get a happy ending where Matt's new girlfriend finally FORGIVES HIM FOR BEING RAPED. Hooray for Hollywood.

I guess it's not even safe to go to romantic comedies anymore. Sigh.
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Enjoyable, BUT...
Susie-713 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Overall, I enjoyed this film. I liked the leads and thought they had good chemistry, and while not as funny as, say, American Pie, I did find many of the jokes amusing.

However, there was one aspect of the film that really bothered me, which I notice has been mentioned by others as well.


Now, if a woman was handcuffed to a bed and sleeping and somewhat delirious and her ex-boyfriend showed up and had sex with her, when she is clearly in no position to give consent, few people would hesitate to label that as rape, and it certainly would not go without mention and condemnation in the film. Yet Nicole rapes Matt, and the only issue that seems to arise is how he screwed up. Excuse me? Granted, blaming the rape victim is not a new concept, but one would hope in this day and age it doesn't find its way into films, at least not without suitable counter statements being made. Male rape is a serious issue that is rarely dealt with as such, and movies like this tend to reinforce the erroneous belief that male rape doesn't exist, except in prison, or Deliverance. Maybe we shouldn't expect this movie to have any great social impact, challenge the views of the establishment, but acknowledgement that SOMETHING wrong had happened (other than Matt "screwing up") would have been nice. I seriously hope Nicole didn't get to collect on her bet.

Also, someone suggested that it was unrealistic for Matt not to have woken up before he had an orgasm. I'm not a guy, so I can't speak from experience, but there are such things as wet dreams. It seems to me that was essentially what Matt had, only unbeknownst to him, he had a little help. (That's actually what I found unbelievable; surely he would have long since had a wet dream on his own. But it's a movie.)
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Is it still funny if we flip it round.
Chewbaccy2 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Over the years there have been many chauvanistic male movie characters who produce stereotypical images to the viewers. However if we look at 40 days and 40 nights and flip the plot around so that it is a girl who has to go the aforementioned length of time without having sex and we no longer have a comedy but an extremely offensive movie.

***PLOT (if you can call it that) SPOILERS!!!!

Take the scene where the girl tries to seduce him on the photocopier or the two girls in the store room who kiss. I am not a prude in any way but if those scenes were reversed and it was a female on the receiving end then the scenes would have had a far darker meaning. And lets not even go near the scene at the end where the ex-girlfriend ruins the mission so to speak. Once again flipped around this would surely be rape. Which begs the question is it funny? I don't think so.

Yes it is only a teen comedy and maybe I should lighten up somewhat but where the American Pie films had a certain charm and illustrated the prat falls for both men and women, 40 days and 40 nights went for morally questionable gags to sell the movie.
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Ridiculous premise about shallow people
rosscinema7 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Hollywood and their incredible shallowness wants it's viewers to care a lot for the main character in this film and it's because he's good looking. Nothing more than that and I took an instant disliking to this ridiculous attempt at comedy and the rest of the characters are portrayed as either vapid or moronic. Story is about Matt Sullivan (Josh Hartnett) who is having a very difficult time getting over his breakup with Nicole (Vinessa Shaw) and he goes out with several girls but they don't amount to anything and he becomes disgusted by his own behavior. Matt decides to give up sex for Lent and at first he seems okay with it but as time goes on it gets very difficult and while at the laundromat he meets a new woman.


Matt meets Erica (Shannyn Sossamon) and they have an instant attraction to one another but he has a hard time explaining his actions when he starts acting weird but she finds out the truth when Matt's co-workers put his plan on a website and place bets whether he can last the whole duration.

This film is directed by Michael Lehmann who has helmed two pretty good films (Heathers, The Truth About Cats & Dogs) that deal with relationships and human interaction but he has also directed some awful films (Hudson Hawk, Meet The Applegates, My Giant) and I certainly believe that this attempt belongs in the latter. The film is basically an attempt to showcase Josh Hartnett and take advantage of his looks which is fine but the script makes his character so nice that he's just a complete bore. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for him because he's not getting laid? Is not getting any for 40 days that long? If it is I definitely live in another universe and basically I cannot relate to Hartnett's character on any level, and I'm a single guy! Every female that works in the same office as Hartnett is smoking hot and this is an office that easily has no idea what sexual misconduct is. Hartnett is not a bad actor but when he's cast in these cutesy boy roles he's ingratiating. With the exception of Sossamon who gives an earnest attempt the rest of the cast is portrayed as uncaring jerks who seemingly have embraced their shallowness. If your looking for a smart and sophisticated comedy than keep walking because this lame film has a script that is totally devoid of anything resembling wit and intelligence.
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Do not recommend
ProfessorToomin22 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It is self evident that the makers of this movie have never tried to do what they have the protagonist of the story attempt. They make it out as if it's some sort of unattainable fantasy vice a lifestyle choice. 40 Days and 40 Nights is based off a singular idea: men can't live without sex. Actually, it's based off a more basic idea than even that: men can't control themselves. This movie contains an attempted drugging, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, and outright rape and we're supposed to just laugh it off because it happens to a man. And as we all know, men can't go more than 7 seconds without thinking about sex. This is a horrible, propaganda filled, hateful little piece of indoctrination that deserves the death penalty at the very least.
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crude and physically impossible, but mildly entertaining
TheNorthernMonkee4 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS Each year, we all claim we're going to give up something for Lent. Whether for religious reasons, physical reasons or even for a bet, we all have attempted, and mostly failed, to sacrifice those things we need the most. It'd be interesting to know how many have attempted to sacrifice sexual activity for that time. In 2002's '40 Days and 40 Nights', Josh Hartnett's character tries just that. Crammed full of sexual reference and incredibly dumb moments, '40 Days and 40 Nights' is saved from the oblivion where it so obviously belongs by the pure fact that it is occasionally entertaining. Yes it never makes you fall off your seat in laughter, and the characters are incredibly shallow, but more often than not, you can't help but find yourself smiling.

Matt Sullivan (Hartnett) is a mess. Never recovering from his last girlfriends rejection, he leaps from bed to bed only to find himself suffering psychological trauma and hallucinations. Deciding he needs to get his head sorted, Matt decides that it is time to give up sex. Thus for the 40 days and nights of Lent, he gives up all sexual activity. Including personal relief into the decision, Matt finds temptation constantly around the corner, not least from the fact that he has a new girlfriend in the shape of Erica (Shannyn Sossamon).

Firstly, lets ponder the impossibilities involved with '40 Days and 40 Nights'. There's the fact that at one point he makes Erica orgasm using a flower, a fact that women will happily condemn at a moments notice (although most have probably tried after watching this film). There's also the fact that if a man goes from constant sex to no relief of any kind, that he's not going to have a say in the matter. The body will find a way to make him let off steam. The fact that for the entire time Matt lasts in the film, he never once experiences any sort of wet dream (as would happen in such a sudden 'cold turkey' situation), is just evidence of how little the creators thought this premise through.

Away from practical impossibility, the film also suffers from the predictable fact that it is often incredibly crude. Whether it is a hot office worker spreading her legs on the photocopier or Matt's hallucinations of naked women, the film is never afraid to lower the tone beyond sensible parameters. At just over an hour and a half long, it is just one long smut joke, and it's doubtful 'Confessions of a window cleaner' had this many sexual references.

All the characters are also incredibly shallow individuals. Obsessed with sex, every single girl offers herself to him in return for the possibility of winning money. At the same time, all of his friends, rather than supporting him, ridicule and humiliate him with an online betting syndicate. There's not an individual in the film that doesn't seem to be sex obsessed and superficial. This isn't real life, this is some sort of nightmarish fantasy.

So where do we go from here? There's so many criticisms about the film, there surely can't be any saving grace? Well, against all better judgement, there is. You see, whilst the film is crude, flawed and dumb, it is also at times entertaining. We're not talking hilarious or anything, but it does sometimes make you smile and enjoy it. You watch the story unfold, you really don't care for any of the characters, and yet you just can't turn it off. The film hooks you in and subjects you to ninety minutes of torture. Yet once it's finished, you do find yourself happy and content by what you've seen. It's always annoying when something like this happens, but when the story is really this bad, you find yourself even more frustrated.

Rude, crude, physically impossible and woefully shallow, '40 Days and 40 Nights' is not a good film. So it is with a heavy heart therefore to confess that you might actually enjoy it. It's a guilty pleasure. It's a film which is so inexplicably bad, and yet for some unknown reason, you find yourself occasionally smiling through it. You feel like the ninety minutes have been worthwhile, even though they haven't, and you genuinely believe that the film is worth anyone's attention. This is the evil of Hollywood at it's most pronounced and it's an annoying fact of life. You should hate this film, but you'll think you like it.
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A movie that says that rape is OK, rape is under no circumstances OK!
simone-531-42247221 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers

The first half of the movie is okay, the idea is fine but the ending is... I am shocked, the protagonist is clearly raped by his ex- girlfriend but in the movie it is shown as okay, RAPE IS NEVER OK! If it was the other way around and a man had sex with his ex-girlfriend while she was asleep and tied to a bed; he would be called a rapist and send to jail or the movie would never had been made because it says that rape is OK. The movie doesn't even discuss the issue, it is taken for granted that what happened was OK or legal, and he has to apologize for being raped afterwords. This movie shows how a man can be raped by a woman but say that it is no big deal. Another thing is, the movie goes too far with the protagonist's abstinences, suddenly there is naked women and boobs everywhere it is just too much and too vulgar. I apologize for typos, etc.
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Awful movie
aroberts-666-1356320 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is awful on so many levels, it's difficult to choose what to focus on. First of all, the main characters are horribly underdeveloped. Josh Hartnet's character hardly speaks throughout the movie, and while Erica, his new love interest, does a decent job expressing her "sensitivity" through her body language, her character is equally undeveloped. And while Hartnet's character may be a heart throb, do girls really throw themselves at guys so hard and fast that it's that difficult to turn down sex? If this movie was meant for teens, then the producers did young people a horrible injustice by making twenty-something life look so shallow. In the beginning of the film, he's getting tail like its on sale at Costco. The caricatured version of a hot, male bachelor's life makes the movie unbearably cartoonish. SPOILERS: Then, when Erica and Matt (is that Josh's character's name?) they fall in love so fast, after one date. This is problematic because Erica is SOOOOO upset when she learns about his "vow". Why wouldn't they just have a calm conversation about it and her ask why he's doing what he's doing? It's not like they know each other that well. OK, and the orgasm scene with the flower--meant to be hot, was embarrassing and contrived. I could imagine that scene being very hot, but something about the way the actors acted it made me blush in embarrassment—not because it was sexually arousing, but because it wasn't. Matt's ex-girlfriend is equally caricatured, and dumps him for a rich young partner at Stanley Morgan. Finally, SPOILERS: the RAPE SCENE AT THE END. What the hell?? I can't believe the producers put that in there—not because it wouldn't ever happen, but that Matt blames himself for it. Is Matt really that much of a screwed up catholic? And the final scene when Matt talks about how he just kept screwing up and screwing up. How did he "screw up?" everyone else seemed to--his jackass friends for betting on his celibacy, but not him for "taking a break." Finally, one last stab at the movie—it just wasn't funny. I laughed hard once (can't remember when), but that good chuckle didn't make up the piece of crap this film is.
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Bland comedy, but watchable
emmet-218 June 2002
I went to the movies with a friend, and this was the only film we could agree on. I had pretty low expectations to begin with, so I can't really say I was disappointed, but "40 Days..." didn't really leave any lasting impression on me. It's a bland film - it does create a few laughs - but all in all, it's a pretty forgettable affair.

The best thing this film has going for it, is the nice on-screen chemistry between the two leads. Both Josh Hartnett and newcomer Shannyn Sossamon do well with their characters - or at least as well as the juvenile script allows them. The funniest moments in the film were the condom scene at the beginning, dinner with the parents and the "examination" of Matt's sheets. It's also nice to see a Hollywood movie that doesn't drag on beyond the two hour point. "40 Days..." clocks in at a pleasant 94 minutes, which feels just about right.

All in all, it's a mildly enjoyable film, but nothing memorable. I'll rate it 3 out of 6 on my dice.
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So-so movie, until the last reel
antelp17 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Unless you are a shallow person who thinks sex is something that's bad yet funny, avoid this movie.

(Spoilers, but trust me you are gonna want to read this.)

In the last reel of the movie, the main character hand-cuffs himself to his bed in order to prevent himself from having a little self pleasure. His ex-girlfriend barges into his apartment, sees him sleeping like this and RAPES him! Yeah, pretty horrible eh? Of course he is blamed because all men are sex pigs and can't be raped, right?

Anyway, some of it is so-so funny, but still the ending is one of the worst I've ever seen.
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Godawful ending
poem11 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is mostly a superfluous movie based on a rather idiotic plot idea, with not much originality in the script and rather untalented actors. I have no idea why I even bothered watching it back then. But the main reason why I gave it the minimum rating was really the unbelievable awful ending.

!!! Spoilers ahead !!!

Yes I will spoil the ending.

!!! Stop reading already if you don't want to get the end spoiled !!!

The final actions in this movie is a rape of a man who was helplessly bound to the bed, by his ex-girlfriend, and than that man seriously having to apologize about that to his girlfriend, who instead of helping him blamed him for being a crime victim.

If you are seriously having trouble understanding whats wrong this ending, then just invert the genders. A woman in the place of the man would have been a rape victim, and the man as a boyfriend would have the urge to run after the other man for some serious beating up.

Personally, in the position of the man, I would have immediately called the police and filed my ex-girlfriend for rape. Also immediately dropped my current girlfriend for not helping me and even blaming me for getting raped while I was completely unable to fight back at all.

It the exactly the same logic as those Islamic idiots who want to stone female rape victims to death for having committed adultery. But the script authors where seriously believing the audience would buy that. What the heck ?

!!! End of spoilers !!!

This is definitely one of the worst endings in all of movie history.
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Hartnett is charismatic enough to make it work
Boyo-24 March 2002
Josh Hartnett is a good looking kid who does not use his looks to put up a wall between him and the audience in this movie. He seems very human and sweet. This helps in a lot in this movie because he's the 'sex object' who is not getting any, and you don't mind not seeing him 'add another notch to the bedpost.'

Since all of his conquests make him feel bad or doomed for unhappiness, Matt (Hartnett) feels he must take drastic action by not giving in to any sexual urges.

He becomes the subject of an intense office pool and some of the girls who had bet on a specific day he would 'cave in' make moves on him. A website is dedicated to him and he is soon referred to as 'Vow Boy.'

The movie has a lot of laughs. A couple of scenes seem retundant and a couple don't belong at all, but for the most part this is pleasant enough entertainment. Josh gets some big laughs, more than anyone else, but his roommate and his boss get some too. Josh has some good chemistry with Shannyn Sossamon who plays Erica. 7/10.
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easmith0329 December 2002
I didn't find any redeeming qualities in this movie. I knew going in the movie was kind of based on the sophomoric premise that a sexually active young man was giving up sex for Lent. The movie also purports to be a comedy. So, almost all of the humor of the film revolves around Matt's (Josh Hartnett) attempt at celibacy, while apparently in his world every woman is young beautiful, and willing to have sex with him. So, you get lots of scenes of him gasping in frustration running away from women while putting ice down his pants. I found the humor witless, and below the standards of "Porky's" or typical teenage drive-in type movies.

Also, in this world were Matt lives, everyone knows about everyone else's sex lifes, they are freely discussed, and in Matt's case becomes the subject of world wide betting on the internet. While Matt seems to view this as an unfortunate turn of events, apparently he harbours no ill will towards his "friends" for publishing his plight. Or doesn't seem to be upset with them as they go out of their way to make him break is vow for Lent.

There is more to the "plot" of the movie, he meets a girl and falls in love but the movie screams the question "HOW CAN THEY BE IN LOVE IF THEY AREN'T HAVING SEX?" I'm not sure what the movie answered... it doesn't matter. The movie is absurd, the ending is meaningless.
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Basically, this is the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen
Sennin9 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This film reflects the decadence of Hollywood. Now a days, every incompetent being, each stupider than the last one, may get to direct a movie, or even worst, to write a script. That's the only possible explanation to the fact that this movie ever came out. Technically the movie is really lame. In fact I strongly doubt there was anyone involved in the production of this film that was aware that there exist techniques to shoot a movie. There's no photography management, no aesthetics careness, no nothing that would justify the one big and completely flaw by antonomasia that the script is. The only attempt of innovation you may find in the movie is the 100% computer animated sea of mammary glands waving all along the screen as the central character is supposed to be having an alucination. Concerning the script, there isn't a single part of it that doesn't deserve to go straightly to the trash bin. I strongly recommend, as well, that Mr. Rob Pérez dedicates the rest of his life in another work, as good as he makes sure it doesn't involve writing. The plot is just absurd (spoiler?). A guy swears to god that he won't have sex for the next 40 days, and what's worst: the entire community around him is so stupid and has nothing better to do in their own lives, that they run a hi-tech bet system in which they bet to the day they think the oath will be broken. Give it a 5 second thought. If your neighbour doesn't want to have sex: do you really give a damn about it??? Will your life start to work around that fact??? of course not!!! The movie it self doesn't have sense!!! Not even to mention the predictability of it. From the very beginning of the movie you know how it's going to end. And the gags and jokes, that were supposed to be the strong side of the movie, don't get to work at all. In all the time I wasted watching this movie, not ever once my lips showed a glimpse of a smile.
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Funny funny funny
suebasko30 March 2002
This movie is FUNNY! And the shots of San Francisco are beautiful. Josh Hartnett is very skilled at being funny. His co-star is a girl who has been taking lessons from the Winona Ryder School of Drama. I guess messy hair and a lilting dip of the head is acting.

Sure, there are problems with the craft, such as very noticeable editing problems, voices dubbed in the ADR that don't BEGIN to match the voices in the other shots, etc. If you aren't a filmmaker you might not notice, and in any case, you shouldn't care. The reason you shouldn't care is this is a feel-good, genuinely funny movie. So many movies purport to be funny, so few succeed. This one does.

I was raised as a Catholic and I found the whole Catholic theme amusing. Of course, in the Catholic family, one brother is a repressed Seminarian, while the other is a ... Semen-arian? This sex-obsessed guy gives up sex for Lent, and it just happens he works in a place with all these impossibly beautiful, sexy young women. The geeky guys at the workplace sit around and make bets on how long he'll last.

I am having fun making up the sequel for this movie in my head---- 40 Minutes- where he tries not to put his hands in his pockets for a whole 40 minutes...
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Fails to Go the Distance
Dallas672 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
After spending six months dwelling on the demise of his last relationship, Matt Sullivan (Josh Hartnett) decides to give up all his sexual outlets for Lent. Naturally, upon making this decision, he meets Erica (Shannyn Sossamon) and has to hope their budding relationship will survive `40 Days and 40 Nights'. Spoilers follow.

To be perfectly fair, I have to say that the allure of Josh Hartnett has mostly escaped me. Slouching lethargically through every role he plays, Hartnett mumbles his lines as if slightly embarrassed in a voice just an octave short of Herman Munster and with all the energy of a very old man on a Nyquil bender. Watching Hartnett, I found his sleepy-eyed Matt a little hard to buy as a Lothario in overdrive. He hardly seems capable of dressing himself in the morning, let alone pursuing so strenuous an activity as sex.

As one would expect, Matt doesn't manage to pursue his spiritual journey unnoticed - friends, co-workers, and even total strangers become aware of his pledge in short order. The addition of an Internet betting pool on the demise Matt's celibacy is one of the film's few smart moves - money always being an acceptable means of providing motivation where there would otherwise exist only mild interest. Folks with a stake in the whole mess begin to conspire against Matt immediately with all the attendant inappropriate, unlikely, and sometimes patiently illegal acts that might result in some kind of court date out in the real world. You know the jokes already: Viagra in the orange juice; the office slut teasingly spread-eagled on the copier with an open invitation; the offer of a full-service ménage a trios with a couple of other female co-workers out to win the pool, making them a couple of high-priced (okay, very high priced) prostitutes by proxy. Only in your local Spearmint Rhino and films like this do women dress this provocatively and men behave this foolishly in the workplace.

The movie makes some feeble effort to acknowledge the spiritual nature of Lent, having horndog Matt experiencing some mildly sacrilegious hallucinations shortly after making his conviction. Short of that and some rambling allusions to Satan's tests for Jesus while Matt is on the home stretch to victory (seemingly only achievable at the zero hour by handcuffing himself to his bed), the film uses the whole concept of spiritual growth through self-denial cruelly. By the `climax', Matt has devolved into such a twitchy, bumbling, sweaty, hallucinating, unbelievable neurotic that it's safe to say his journey has been a failure even if the trip has landed a hot new babe in his bed. Unfortunately, the attraction between Harnett and the slightly funky but lovely Sossamon seems as forced as the entire premise.

The movie does offer a precious few titillating moments (personally, I don't think I would have made it past the office slut's offer on top of the copier) but there is nothing in the film so erotically evocative to make it worth the price of admission. For that kind of thrill, there are far better films one can rent, in the privacy of your own home, with your own remote control, and your own bottle of baby oil. I think you know where I'm going.

The only real bright spot in the whole dismal setting for me is Paulo Costanzo as Matt's roomie. Costanzo seems to have come from the Jerry Seinfeld School of Acting, being unable to deliver a line without an attendant smirk. Usually, this would be annoying but Costanzo manages to make it somehow bearable - kind of like talking to a good friend and sharing a sharing a private joke. He seemed to consistently generate the most laughs out of the wasted cast.

I guess to the pompous, vaguely agnostic, Hey-We're-Bigger-Than-Jesus executives over at good ol' Universal, releasing `40 Days, 40 Nights' during Lent seemed like a real no-brainer. Certainly, it doesn't seem likely that any devout Catholics will have this film at the top of their `To Do' list though some kind of protest action by a fringe activist group doesn't seem out of the question. If you are Catholic and you haven't given up anything for Lent, might I suggest films like this? I'm all for a good old-fashioned, slightly titillating, youth-oriented sex comedy but since you can also add `mindless', `unconvincing', and `unfunny' to the list of adjectives in this case, you can live without them for the next 40 days. I'm not Catholic or a prude or even religious but I can still appreciate the value of self-sacrifice. Fortunately for me, giving up films like `40 Days and 40 Nights' is a little like giving up crushing my testicles in a vise - easy to do and I wouldn't miss it a bit. Three Stars out of Ten.
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Holding out for the One...
jon.h.ochiai4 March 2002
Michael Lehman's "40 Days and 40 Nights" is a surprisingly funny, smart, edgy romantic comedy with an amazing sweetness to it. This is a feat given some of the graphic dialog, and outrageous sight gags. Credit the star power of Josh Hartnett, the skillful direction of Michael Lehman, and a brisk and "in your face" screenplay by Rob Perez. The movie intends to offend, and we give it permission to do so-- the effect is a fun time at the movies.

Josh Hartnett plays young Dot Commer, Matt, who is suffering since his break up 6 months ago from Nicole (a viciously good Vinessa Shaw). Matt has visions of a Black Hole fissuring from the ceiling whenever he is having sex with women which is very often-- poor guy. Matt confides in his brother, John (Adam Trese), a priest completing his probationary period. John is not the tower of strength and inspiration that Matt is looking for. Then by design, divine intervention, or sheer insanity, Matt chooses abstinence for 40 days and nights until Lent. And this is extreme-- no fondling and... no masturbation. No one believes Matt will last 40 days, much less a week. Among the faithless is Matt's roommate, Ryan (Paulo Costanzo), who betrays Matt confidence and tells his co-workers at Matt's Internet company. They start a pool on a website predicting Matt's demise. In the meantime, Matt pursues a relationship with a great girl, Erica (a beautiful Shannyn Sossamon), who he met at the local laundromat. Also by design it just happens that Erica has a history of dating weirdos, and she works for Cyber Nanny, a company that safeguards against porn-sites. Matt also finds out that Nicole is back from Europe and now engaged, and she will not let him forget this. What makes the movie special is that Matt really falls in love with Erica without sleeping with her, and that he remains abstinent, because he said so... This is refreshing. Josh Hartnett is great here. His Matt is a good-looking, charming guy who makes an insane choice and lives with it. Hartnett also comes across as empathetic, as a man thrust in an almost impossible situation where everyone is betting on his failure. He has a quiet strength about him, is very funny, and totally believable. Shannyn Sossamon is stunning-- you can see why Matt falls for her. And when she wonders if Matt is gay, this is hilarious. Sossamon's Erica is smart and compassionate with great humanity. Playing a woman wondering why the guy she is attracted to doesn't want to have sex with her is not an easy role... or natural.

The humor in "40 Days" is raw, though enjoy the ride. Afterall it is a romance, managed well by Lehman, Harnett, and Sossamon. And we don't mind being offended as long as it is done smartly with style, and that we are ultimately touched.
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This Movie Is Nothing But A Big Piece Of Crap
Darkest_Rose30 April 2003
After Matt(Josh Hartnett) gets dumped by his girlfriend Nicole(Vinessa Shaw) he starts to have sex with every girl possible just to forget about her. But then during the 40 days of Lent, Matt vows to himself that he will not have sex for 40 days and 40 nights. But then of course he meets the girl of his dreams, named Erica(Shannyn Sossamon) and he starts having second thoughts about not having sex and betraying his vow. Of course you can guess the rest. This movie is predictable, dumb and just a big piece of crap. Nothing about this movie was funny or entertaining. The movie sends out wrong messages to it's audience and it's just a pain in the butt to sit through. There weren't even enough hot girls to save this movie from the big piece of crap it is. I would give 40 Days and 40 Nights 3/10
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Rape Depicted as Good
d-l-polonsky14 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Hollywood writers are largely egotistical, juvenile, spoiled, shallow, hedonistic, amoral, arrogant, and totally disconnected from the day-to-day world most of us "nobodys" live in. Once in a great while, something seeps into the scripts they write that's so extreme in it's reprehensibility it reveals their delusional view of the world. That's what happened with this movie, but since it wasn't a wildly popular blockbuster that was in the theatres for several months, it was mostly ignored. At the end of this movie a man is raped by a woman in a context that makes it clear that the writers think it's a good thing. Knowing the stupid plot of the movie doesn't make it any better. Matt (Josh Harnett) just had a bad break-up with a girl and decides he would get a better perspective on women and relationships if he went without sex during the 40 days of Lent, including kissing and masturbation. He meets a woman, but continues his experiment in sexual abstinence without explaining his experiment to her, just saying he wants a platonic relationship. I'll admit I didn't follow every detail of the plot and sub-plots (he's some kind of executive and has a lot of obnoxious roommates and co-workers) but I figure nothing could justify the rape at the end. There is a sequence where he's so aroused and frustrated he dreams he's flying through a landscape of CGIed breasts, which I guess is relatively imaginative. Near the end of the movie he goes to bed, as always handcuffed to the bedposts so he can't masturbate. His ex-girlfriend gets on top of him and RAPES HIM! If the sexes were reversed there'd be a public outcry about this movie that would be pretty considerable even though the movie wasn't extremely well- known. I think what the so-called writers think is that men having sex whenever they can get it and perpetually pursuing sex like mindless animals the rest of the time is the natural order of Nature and any man who goes against that is denying nature and is not a real man and deserves to be FORCED back into sexual activity, in other words deserves to be RAPED. In their minds, the abstinence is the twisted thing and the rape is the healthy thing. Of course movies are primarily entertainment and some people, mostly women I guess, would get a kick out of seeing a healthy, good-looking young guy constantly horny and teased and frustrated, but the movie doesn't even work on that dark level because Hartnett doesn't react the way most men would. Most of the other characters in the film are shallow, obnoxious twenty- somethings who act like 12-year-olds and I can't help thinking that this must be pretty close to what the writers act like. There are a lot of jokes about embarrassment over having erections at work. This isn't the worst movie ever made - that honor I think belongs to "Forrest Gump" - only because "40 Days and 40 Nights" is useful in the way it reveals the society-induced mental disorders of the "writers".
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HORRIBLE movie *spoiler*
frankzappayay14 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the worst movies I've seen. The script is just lame. There's no action, there's no jokes, its just a whole film containing nothing but boredom.

There's not one single character in this film that i liked. The star is so self absorbed and self important. The world evolves around his lame little relationship issues. Who gives a damn? He is constantly visiting his brother for help, and isn't grateful. Hes just selfish and self absorbed and lame.

The flatmate is an idiot. Everyone he works with is childish and annoying. The guy who runs the website documenting his abstinence is an idiot. If it was me, and someone was doing that about me.... id rearrange their face.

The woman he is supposed to be having a hard break up from is a horrible bi*** The whole scene where he bumps into her and her new guy is one of the most amateurish scenes ever in a movie. The guy is "the stereotypical upper class idiot" and she acts like "the stereotypical I'm doing much better without you" role. Its just sooo horrible!!!!! Then there's the woman "love interest" who he meets in the laundry room. She has funny eyebrows. She is snooty and annoying and if he wasn't such a fool controlled by whats in his pants, he would realise she is a pain in the rear and would tell her to get lost.

All the women in this movie are airhead sluts. They are all "like...omg! like totally! like he doesn't want sex for 40 days!! omg!!! men are like... sooooo primitive... omg!". It makes me want to drown them all. The guys are not much better.

Avoid this movie at all costs unless you are about 12 years old and want to see an insane movie about relationships as a 20 something year old only.... not accurate at all, and annoying, and full of ridiculous characters. Unless you are a no life loser, anyone you meet like that in real life should just be avoided. Lifes too short.
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Thank god, I am not the only one...
Malmir21 May 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Text taken from "HEP632" : I could go on in that vein for hours, but what REALLY made me almost walk out on this film is the fact that Matt, the hero, is RAPED by is ex-girlfriend in the final minutes of the movie. Did nobody at the studio recognize that act for what it is? If the gender roles were reversed in that scene, it would have totally changed the mood and content of the film. As it was, I kept waiting for Matt, or ANYBODY, to call the police. Instead, movie goes get a happy ending where Matt's new girlfriend finally FORGIVES HIM FOR BEING RAPED. Hooray for Hollywood.

As Matt being raped AND NOT voluntarily joined in the act, actually made Matt as the final winner of the bet. Why this ? Yes You see,he keeped his vow, he didn't touch her. And that makes her a hustler without payment. That part is also keeped away from the movie, why ? Did the film team not understand the consequences of this final part ?

I still feel and will forever, this movie stinks for eternity...!
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Mourning Wood
wes-connors28 September 2008
Six months of hot women can't get emotionally blocked San Francisco stud Josh Hartnett (as Matt Sullivan) to forget sexy ex-girlfriend Vinessa Shaw (as Nicole); so, he decides to give up sex for "40 Days and 40 Nights" (aka "Lent", the time period before Easter). It's a lot harder than it sounds, because Mr. Harnett vows to give up ALL forms of sexual activity, including masturbation. Promiscuous roommate Paulo Costanzo (as Ryan) is around to help; he examines Hartnett's sheets for fluids, and lets everyone on the Internet know about his pal's pledge. Presumably, Mr. Costanzo orders Hartnett to shower with the door open.

Things get very sticky (or, not) when women try to arouse Hartnett's interest. To complicate matters, he meets sexy Shannyn Sossamon (as Erica) at the Laundromat. Still, Hartnett perseveres. He gets Christian help, in the confessional, from priestly brother Adam Trese (as John); Mr. Trese is, secretly, struggling with the same vow. Of course, the real story is the discovery, by Hartnett, of "true love" (instead of just sex).

Other than a confusing, dream sequence climax; it's all fairly predictable. Director Michael Lehmann and team succeed in making the premise unrealistic, even for a silly movie. Sossamon and Costanzo are very likable with Hartnett. There are a few laughs. One cool scene features more topless women than "Electric Ladyland".

***** 40 Days and 40 Nights (3/1/02) Michael Lehmann ~ Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Paulo Costanzo, Adam Trese
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