"40 Days and 40 Nights"
Directed by Michael Lehmann.
Written by Rob Perez.
Starring Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon and Paulo Costanzo.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 3/8/02
Hey, I like to see a romantic comedy every
once in a while, and the preview for "40 Days and 40 Nights" was
good enough to trick me into seeing it.
Josh Hartnett stars as Matt, a just-dumped
dot-com child working in San Francisco. To help him get over the
sad fact that he keeps having sex with random hot women every couple
of days to fill the void in his love life, he decides to give up all
forms of sex and self-gratification for Lent. Unfortunately, he
meets an incredible girl named Erica (Shannyn Sossamon, from
Knight's Tale") just days after his abstinence begins, so he must
carefully navigate dating a new girl while trying to not have any
kind of physical relationship with her.
For the most part, the movie is great. Like
all successful romantic comedies, the formula is in place: guy gets
girl, guy loses girl, guy gets girl back...all the while putting up
with some pretty funny people in their work & social lives. The
support here comes mostly from Matt's roommate Ryan (Paulo Costanzo,
"Road Trip") and Matt's officemates, here being fellow dot-commers.
They are mostly funny, even if they are pretty stereotypical tech
support types. There is plenty of funny sex-related conversation,
and I think this is the first movie I have ever seen that has a GUY
faking the orgasm. Hilarious!
The film is not without its problems,
though...and for me, this is mostly because I now live where this
film is supposedly set. Hence...
Fallacy #1: Hot women
The women in this movie seem to have been
transplanted from Southern California to the Bay Area, because you
aren't going to find more bullshit in terms of the hotties then you
will in this film. Just the women working in the office seem to
have been lifted from a risqué Gap commercial, and I have lived here
for six months now and haven't seen three hot women standing in any
one place at one time...LET ALONE a technology firm. But, there are
a half-dozen scenes like that in "40 Days and 40 Nights."
Fallacy #2: Gay people
Look, if you are going to have shots of
Chinatown, 20-somethings drinking mochas while sitting in front of
their iMac at a run-down warehouse building, characters walking up
ridiculously steep hills and bike messengers talkin' jive, then you
have admitted to us that you are filming a movie full of San
Francisco stereotypes. With that in mind, the writers failed to
include a single gay or lesbian character in their large collection
of supporting players. Come on, not even one?
But, I am just being picky. This film is
pretty funny stuff...and, it's the rare romantic comedy that doesn't
get too sappy while pitching its message. Bueno!
Rating: $9.00 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard