Today’s Prayer Focus

40 Days and 40 Nights

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for strong sexual content, nudity and language.

Reviewed by: Sarah Ayotte

Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Romance Comedy
Year of Release: 2001
USA Release:
Featuring Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Vinessa Shaw, Monet Mazur, Griffin Dunne
Director Michael Lehmann
Producer Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Michael London
Distributor: Miramax. Trademark logo.
, a division of beIN Media Group

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.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—I’m pretty open minded to this kind of stuff, but this movie really was a little messed up and unrealistic. The entire plot revolves around sex and shows a lack of creativity within the directing of the movie. It also made it seem like its normal for a guy to go out and have sex with a new girl every night. It has some funny moments but is not a great movie.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 3]
—There was nothing very redeeming about this movie. The star was not celibate because he felt sexual promiscuity was wrong but because he pretty much wanted to get back at his ex-girlfriend. And when he meets another girl, who is supposed to be “nicer” than his ex, she can’t understand why he “doesn’t just want to have sex with me.” There is an overall negative response to his choice and the church is shown as being dirty as well. Not a good movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
Jenny, age 21
Negative—This movie is not about not having sex it is all about sex. There are many full sex scenes and many scenes of completely naked women. Everything sex is mentioned in this movie. It could almost be placed in mild pornography.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
Jennifer, age 28
Comments from young people
Negative—If you like this movie, go see your pastor today! It’s the sickest film production I’ve ever seen. Everything about the movie us sex and nothing but sex. It’s extremely offensive to young viewers and shouldn’t be watch by anybody. Don’t waste your money… it’s not worth it.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
Andrew, age 16
Negative—Sickest movie I’ve ever seen in my life. I had to look away from the screen sooooo many times. I would recommend it to… nobody. Save your ten bucks, it’s not worth it.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1½]
Jennifer Bussiere, age 15
Negative—Usually I love Josh Hartnett (he’s the reason I went to see it) but not in this movie. I mean it had its funny moments, but faking an orgasm? Come on, surely they can do better than that. It’s a pretty sick movie, I don’t recommend it at all.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1½]
Toni Cole, age 14