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.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.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.
I watched this film with two friends of mine, and despite the fact that we have fairly liberal views, all three of us (this includes both female and male) were rather appalled at what was shown, and found that there are some serious moral problems at hand. First and foremost, while some viewers might not realize it, Josh Hartnett's character is raped towards the end of this movie. His ex-girlfriend has sex with him, while he is tied to a bed, intoxicated, and only marginally aware of what is going on. In spite of this, the film does not seem to show the seriousness of the incident. The main character seems to be casual about what happened, albeit disappointed that his celibacy did not reach the 40 day mark; his current love interest, played by Shannyn Sossamon, chooses to be angry, instead of being supportive, and his ex-girlfriend revels in snide triumph. The rape of men by women does occur in real life; it is a horrific crime, as is any other form of rape, and this movie certainly doesn't help in making the society aware of its existence.
The film also paints an inaccurate and incomplete picture of human sexuality, since men are portrayed as sex fiends, who find it next to impossible to not be controlled by their desires, while women are depicted as manipulative whores. Shannyn Sossamon's aforementioned character is an exception, but she appears to be emotionally unstable, since she walks out whenever there is a problem, instead of making an attempt to communicate. When the main character ends up with her, this is treated as an "and they lived happily ever after" sort of ending, whereas realistically, what he probably has in store for him is another psychologically-damaging relationship.
The problem at hand is not in what happens in the film, but in the film's attitude towards what happens. I am not saying that a rape scene in a movie is always unacceptable. What I am saying, is that such a scene should be treated as a rape scene, and not as a casual sexual encounter. While I believe in artistic freedom, I also believe that film producers hold a level of responsibility for the sort of message that they carry across, and that is why I felt that something needed to be said. I would generally not recommend this movie, but to those who are planning on watching it - please be aware of what is going on.
- Jan 11, 2003