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40 Days and 40 Nights
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40 Days and 40 Nights More at IMDbPro »

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82 out of 108 people found the following review useful:

I didn't know the 21st century looked like this!

Author: hep ( from Oregon
14 March 2002

*** This review may contain 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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36 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Spoiler : Highly offensive ending...

Author: follower-fillet
22 July 2002

*** This review may contain 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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40 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

rape is never OK

Author: astev9tu
22 May 2005

*** This review may contain 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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31 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Is it still funny if we flip it round.

Author: Chewbaccy ( from Nottingham, England
2 August 2005

*** This review may contain 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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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Ridiculous premise about shallow people

Author: rosscinema from United States
7 October 2004

*** This review may contain 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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25 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Bland comedy, but watchable

Author: emmet-2 from Asker, Norway
18 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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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable, BUT...

Author: Susie-7 from Vancouver, British Columbia
13 April 2003

*** This review may contain 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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77 out of 140 people found the following review useful:


Author: easmith03 from Indianapolis
29 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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27 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Hartnett is charismatic enough to make it work

Author: Boyo-2
4 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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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

crude and physically impossible, but mildly entertaining

Author: TheNorthernMonkee from Manchester
4 August 2005

*** This review may contain 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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