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40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)

R  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  1 March 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 60,394 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 206 user | 140 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

After a brutal break-up, a young man vows to stay celibate during the forty days of Lent, but finds the girl of his dreams and is unable to do anything about it.



(as Robert Perez)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lorin Heath ...
Aaron Trainor ...
Bagel Boy (as Michael Maronna)
Girl in Chinatown


Nicole broke up with Matt months ago and is now engaged to someone else. He's very good-looking and has no trouble finding other lovers, but that doesn't help because he's still obsessed with wanting her back. Then he gets the inspiration that swearing off sex for Lent (all forms of sexual activity, even kissing or masturbation) will give him the perspective he needs. So of course a few days later he meets a woman and they fall in love. Now Matt sees his vow as a personal matter, and won't even tell her about it, but his friends think otherwise, and now the complications begin... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's Easy to Say But Harder To Do! See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

40 días y 40 noches  »

Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,229,529 (USA) (1 March 2002)


$42,259,967 (Europe) (16 August 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Among the adult videotapes that Matt keeps in his wardrobe there are these titles: Midnight Tease (1994), Emmanuelle: First Contact (1994), 'Penthouse: Dear Diary', Penthouse: Pet of the Year & Friends (1999), 'Penthouse: The Ultimate Pet Games', 'Banging Wood', 'In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon' and 'Wet Slappin''. See more »


When Matt is running to see Nicole after he finds out she is engaged, you can see the van (with the side door open) filming him in a reflection on a building. See more »


Matt: [Tripping out on his 40th day of sexual abstinence, Matt wistfully rubs his thumb over the breasts of a Mrs. Butterworth syrup bottle] She's filled with Heavenly sweetness.
Ryan: [taking the bottle away] I somehow don't think *Mr.* Butterworth would appreciate that very much.
See more »


References Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) See more »


Under Pressure
Written by David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Brian May
Performed by David Bowie (with Queen)
Courtesy of Raincloud Productions Ltd./David R. Jones/MainMan S.A. and Hollywood Records and EMI Records UK
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Holding out for the One...
4 March 2002 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

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.

26 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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no porn, no masturbation for 40 days! ***WARNING: R18*** willshakethespear
Josh (Matt) cant act! kays111
Here's the thing... dmcdknf
having a hard time figuring out... mgsgamer2009
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