Reviewed by: Sarah Ayotte
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Vinessa Shaw, Monet Mazur, Griffin Dunne | Directed by: Michael Lehmann | Produced by: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Michael London | Written by: Steve Pink, D.V. DeVincentis, Rob Perez, Robert Perez | Distributor: Miramax Films
Full of inappropriate sexual gags and obscene plot lines, “40 Days and 40 Nights” is a movie to be avoided.
In order to get over his last girlfriend, Matt (Josh Hartnett) decides to give up all sexual activities for lent (the time of year when Catholics and some other Christian groups traditionally give up a certain pleasure for 40 days, in remembrance of the time Jesus spent being tempted in the desert.) His plans backfire when he meets the girl of his dreams (Shannyn Sosamoon) who has difficulty understanding his vow. The situation becomes even more complicated when his roommate starts a world wide betting ring-via the Internet—based on Matt’s endeavour. Throw Matt’s vixen ex into the mix, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for disaster.
With many inappropriately explicit scenes and discussions, “40 Days” enters every avenue of extra-marital sex in a shockingly casual manner. The premise itself is decidedly immoral, and presents it as abnormal for anyone to go without sex for that long a period of time. Nowhere is abstaining until marriage even discussed. The willingness of all characters in the movie (including Matt’s parents) to discuss explicitly sexual matters in very immoral terms is appalling. The whole film makes sexual abstinence out to be a mistake than can only cause you problems in your relationships. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. The truth is that God created sex for marriage only, and any sexual activity outside of marriage will create problems (rather than the other way around). The film makes a mockery of all abstinence, including the vow taken by Matt’s brother, a Catholic priest-in-training. The film teaches that all attempts to remain abstinent are futile, and so should not be attempted.
Including several situations, numerous visually extensive sex scenes, and even disillusioned dreams that are completely inappropriate, the shock value of this film has no end. It should be avoided.