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Overall Rating
2.81

Awesome: 14.29%
Worth A Look: 20%
Average: 22.86%
Pretty Bad: 18.1%
Total Crap24.76%

8 reviews, 57 user ratings


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40 Days and 40 Nights
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by Collin Souter

"And 94 minutes wasted"
1 stars

I had to challenge myself once again. Could I do it? Could I sit through a contemporary romantic comedy starring the astoundingly talentless Josh Hartnett? Recently, I made it through 10 of the worst movies of all time, all of them starring pop stars, but this would be different. This would be a movie of its time and its time is now! The hip, stupid kids would be love it. The marketing geniuses geared this movie towards the 18-24 e-crowd. Idiots with cell phones at Dave Matthews Band concerts would be quoting it verbatim all year round. Sitting through this wouldn’t be easy. This time, I would not be able to laugh lovingly at out-of-date hairstyles or marvel at the tacky fashion rags. No, this time, I would not only have to suffer through Josh Hartnett, I would have to try and relate to this. Could I do it?

We were talking 94 minutes here. 94 minutes and it would be over, a challenge met. I looked myself over in the mirror beforehand to see if I had that spark, that eye of the tiger I once had before I popped in the “Cool As Ice” video several weeks back. Could I look the demonic Hell-beast of a warlord with the boxing gloves of everlasting pain in the eyes and give him the finger? Could I look Osama bin Lucifer in his evil eyes, pound my chest and shout “Bring it on, pussy”? Did I still have what it takes to make it through another Josh Hartnett movie? Oh, I know what you’re thinking: He was in “Black Hawk Down” and you liked that. Listen to me. Nobody was actually in “Black Hawk Down.” Certain actors stood at their right place in “Black Hawk Down,” but there wasn’t actually anybody in that movie. Especially not Josh Hartnett.

Anyway… Neither the sounds of heavy gunfire nor the chopping of limbs would be able to distract me this time. Now it was just him and me. Just me and the stupid erection movie. Oh, yeah, I guess I better get to the storyline. Josh Hartnett plays Matt Sullivan (yawn!), a computer guy who has one of those dream jobs you only see in Hollywood movies. He works for a dot.com, makes money at it and is constantly surrounded by hot women. Oh, and he has a boss (Griffin Dunne) who understands him.

Matt has a problem: Every time he has sex with a woman, he has haunting visions of a black hole opening up in his ceiling, something having to do with his ex-girlfriend of six months, Nicole (Vinessa Shaw). Inspired by his celibate brother in the priesthood, Matt challenges himself to avoid sexual contact, either with a woman or with himself, for 40 days and 40 nights, kinda like that whole Lent thing. Matt has another problem: He is played by Josh Hartnett. So far, so…so not good.

So, all of Matt’s friends find out and, of course, they start placing their bets as to when Matt will crack, grab the Vaseline and summon the vomiting cobra. Enter Erica Sutton, a spunky little number who meets Matt at a laundromat and becomes instantly charmed by him, EVEN THOUGH HE SAYS NOTHING! Matt and Erica eventually form a friendship and begin dating, she unaware of his self-inflicted predicament. One night, they go out to eat and, low and be-f***ing-hold!, Matt’s ex, Nicole, shows up there with her new boyfriend. Nicole, who somehow found out about Matt’s challenge, brings it up in front of him and Erica. Erica storms out of the restaurant accusing Matt of being a dishonest person, and Matt tries to win her back. By the way, all of the above happens in the FIRST 25 MINUTES!

The pain was just setting in. Already, in this span of time, I witnessed just how low the movie would sink for a laugh. For example, at the point in the story where Matt cleans all the porn out of his apartment so as to keep from masturbating, director Michael Lehmann chooses to play the INXS song “New Sensation.” (The lead singer of that great band, Michael Hutchence, you may not know, allegedly died during self-gratification.) Also, why does Matt remove vegetable oil from his cupboards during this sequence? Do men actually use that? Did I miss an issue of Maxim? Furthermore, how pathetic is it that screenwriter Robert Perez tries to get in a semen gag, a la “There’s Something About Mary,” whereby Matt tries to convince his hot date that he didn’t fake an orgasm? What does he try and do? Spill White-Out on himself. Oh, lord of Christ, how I hate this movie.

Now, I’m not the least bit surprised at how little this movie knows about women, but what it doesn’t know about men just astounds me. First of all, men don’t use vegetable oil for anything except starting a grease fire when trying to cook macaroni and cheese. Second of all, men start to smoke, hallucinate naked women everywhere and swear uncontrollably if they don’t have at themselves after six days…not 26 days! Six days. I swear, at the 21-day mark this guy hadn’t changed character one bit. Finally, a man ALWAYS knows when he has an erection. No matter what. He doesn’t need his co-workers to point it out to him. Remember the book “Then Again, Maybe I Won't,” by Judy Blume? That shit was real and it stays with us. It stays with every man forever!

I wanted to throw used condoms at the screen during this movie. I wanted to run screaming. I swear I grew a seething hatred for the romantic comedy genre, a genre I once loved and treasured thanks to the likes of Billy Wilder, Woody Allen and John Patrick Shanley. When did this genre turn so clueless, so witless and mind-numbing? “The Bachelor?” “Kate and Leopold?” “Someone Like You?” This crap passes? Why do screenwriters demean women in these movies by having them find these lunk-headed doofuses so attractive? Were it not for the challenge I bestowed upon myself, I would have ran to my car and blasted Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” just to remind myself of the great Ted Demme movie, “Beautiful Girls.” And I hate Neil Diamond.

Finally, it ended. I walked out to my car not proud of myself for having met the challenge of sitting through a Josh Hartnett movie, but ashamed. I drove home that snowy Saturday afternoon and found my girlfriend, Nikki, waiting for me at my house with dinner and a bottle of wine. I didn’t expect this and she had no idea I went to the movies, but this wonderful gesture started to make me feel rewarded for my ridiculous efforts. And it reminded me of a line from an almost-great romantic comedy with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt where he says to her, “You make me want to be a better man.”

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5777&reviewer=233
originally posted: 03/07/02 04:07:48
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell not bad 3 stars
9/27/10 jennifer kimberly good review 5 stars
7/04/09 art A WONDERFUL DATE-MOVIE! 4 stars
5/09/07 David Pollastrini pretty dull 2 stars
2/24/06 Anthony Feor Skip this one 1 stars
2/07/06 Jeff Anderson Hartnett & Sossamon's great chemistry together save this highly. Great soundtrack, too!!!!! 5 stars
2/14/05 Atanu Unsitthroughable. Now is that a new word... 1 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt Josh Hartnett carries the movie, without his amazing charm, it wouldn't have worked at all. 3 stars
12/24/03 sean Weak plot lines, with a few wisecracks. The skin is one of the only redeeming qualities 3 stars
9/05/03 Nicole Wretched 2 stars
6/09/03 p.Rodriguez oh Shannyn Sossamon ....................mmmmnnnnnnn! 5 stars
4/09/03 JL My IQ dropped a few points after watching this. 1 stars
3/11/03 me GREAT 5 stars
1/14/03 karen dado 5 stars
1/14/03 Vitality1 Not as bad as I expected. Hartnett is charming, but doesn't save the movie. 3 stars
12/30/02 sara I thought the film was a tasteful, teen sex comendy, which had humour and sensitivity 5 stars
11/16/02 Great Flaming Shitballs Josh Hartnett is a no-talent FAGGOT, and this movie gave me cancer! AVOID! :) 1 stars
10/10/02 Soggy Bottom Boy 1 or 2 good moments but overall, really dumb. 1 stars
10/03/02 Me Not U This film sucks hippo balls. The celluloid for this film would make great TP. 1 stars
9/29/02 chouck now why can't all romantic comedies have this much nekkidness? 4 stars
9/12/02 Chancey Thunderpants Hartnett is a no talent twat! This movie eats goat nuts. Stop it with the cum jokes already 1 stars
8/15/02 I Can't Swim No great achievement but not insultingly slow/stupid either. Josh's enjoyment contagious 4 stars
8/10/02 mary hartnett josh is the best actor and the movie was great 5 stars
8/05/02 mrs. hartnett it is raunchy but any movie that has the great acting of josh hartnett is good 4 stars
7/29/02 Jon And I'd nearly forgiven josh hartnett after pearl harbour... 1 stars
5/19/02 Mrs. McGregor whats everyone's problem, this was great!!!! 5 stars
5/15/02 Robyn Jamil-Walid What's it matter what he gives up for lent when he's stuck in a world of narcisistic jerks? 2 stars
5/14/02 Ashley Corpening Poor Vinessa Shaw-another promising actress made to wallow in her poop by braindead casters 2 stars
4/25/02 amanda it rocked very funni 5 stars
4/24/02 Red Shadow Quit complaining its cool, what i really want to know is where is the damn soundtrack is 5 stars
4/19/02 Sarah Josh Hartnett is a babe 5 stars
4/19/02 .... It aint good!! 1 stars
4/18/02 bryan its great dumbass 5 stars
4/16/02 SOLOBADOM MALOSIVIC TITS 5 stars
4/01/02 Nikki Seriously dissappointing...especially since Josh is cute. 3 stars
3/31/02 Film Guy 94 minutes of my life i want back 2 stars
3/31/02 Film Dude A hit or miss film that missed. Badly. 1 stars
3/31/02 Michael Bartz This movies title was a prediction until how long it will take to come out on video.sx ass 1 stars
3/29/02 Nicole The ONLY redeeming quality of this movie was the pretty faces.....quite smutty. 2 stars
3/14/02 Candice Josh is hot, but other than that......... 2 stars
3/10/02 Rachem Good, light-hearted fun! 4 stars
3/08/02 AK47 Leave it to women to scorn their admirers and try to bang a celibate 1 stars
3/08/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress When will Hollywood learn pretty faces DO NOT equal talent? Please Stop. *vomits* 1 stars
3/05/02 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Fun, inoffensive movie for those w/o a bug up their colon 4 stars
3/05/02 Kim what a shock: there's more to r'ships other than sex. 1 stars
3/05/02 poetchuck likeable characters, funny lines, enjoyable movie 4 stars
3/05/02 Todd Not all that bad 3 stars
3/04/02 Jesus Christ I condemn this movie. 1 stars
3/03/02 J.C. Lain Hartnett & Costanzo are natural comedians. Fairly witty and creative, with lots of charm 5 stars
3/03/02 Rebecca Barnes Josh shows what a well-rounded actor he really is--and looks damn good in the process!! 4 stars
3/03/02 Overkiller Would have been funny if the movie were only a third as long as it was. As it is, it SUCKS. 1 stars
3/02/02 Andrew Carden Teen-Sex Farce Has Minimal Laughs but Comes Off Quite Amusing. 4 stars
3/02/02 RKM Crappy non-sex romp without style, wit or people who can act 1 stars
3/02/02 Jake Monkey boy is back stinking up theaters. 1 stars
3/01/02 Anthony Lopez This is very funny stuff! 5 stars
3/01/02 Veronica Foxx This did not make me happy, and the only place it will lead is my foot in his groin!!! 1 stars
2/28/02 Goldhammer Disgustingly lame sacreligious garbage. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Mar-2002 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Apr-2002




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