Eye For Film >> Movies >> 40 Days & 40 Nights (2002) Film Review
40 Days & 40 Nights
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
If Josh Hartnett gives up sex for Lent, DO YOU CARE?
Only if it's funny.
Well, it's not.
Hartnett is the new hunk-with-mayo for those Reese Witherspoon wannabees. Ever since playing the dull nice one in Pearl Harbor - OK, they were both dull - he's been talked about as juicy. He's tall, which in the world according to Cruise can be a disadvantage, and has what is known in romantic novelette circles as an open face. This means, not closed. It also means pudding bland.
The film is centred around his character and only comes alive when he's out of the room. His friends, admittedly lacking any positive attributes, other than not being him, are more interesting. They lie, cheat, gamble, drink and do the four letter thing quite a lot. On second thoughts, they're not interesting, only normal twentysomething US males, with added testosterone.
After Josh's girlfriend dumps him, he goes on a promiscuous tour of nameless babes. When having his way with them - he's always on his back, as if making some anti-missionary protest - he has visions of the ceiling opening up to reveal an abyss into which he is about to be sucked.
Panicked, he decides that celibacy is the only cure and goes on a five-and-a-half week sex fast. His so-called pals start a book and big bets are laid (no pun intended). Days later he meets Shannyn Sossamon at the launderette and she's, well, perfect - a Salma Hayek lookalike, without the Latino whackino.
How can he take her out and never allow himself a touch? "Don't kiss the first two dates and it's old-fashioned," his best friend warns. "You go three and you're a homo." Meanwhile, the betting fraternity are plotting girlie raids to break down his resolve.
It boils down to one thing. In the charm stakes, how does he rate? Above or below Heath Ledger?
Do you care?Reviewed on: 29 May 2002