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40 Days and 40 Nights

Director:Michael Lehmann
Writer:Robert Perez
Miramax; R; 92 minutes
Release:3/02
Cast:Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Vinessa Shaw

Handsome Matt (Josh Hartnett, finally out of uniform) is a twentysomething dot-commer in the balmy Bay Area. The guy's a target market, and all the ladies know it. A stream of passing affairs don't ease his pain over a bad breakup, so, encouraged by his priest brother, Matt decides to give up all sex for Lent. Yes, the holy season of Lent is invoked as fuel for the one-joke wonder propelling 40 Days and 40 Nights.

Matt's coworkers launch a website charting his chastity, make bets on when he'll cave in, and lewdly entice the poor boy. (Either the script was written during the dot-com boom or hard-core hi-tech slackers like these helped cause the dot-com bust). As if constant workplace harassment wasn't enough, Matt meets the love of his life (Shannyn Sossamon) at the neighborhood laundromat. Life sure can be difficult.

This moderately funny film is geared a few years beyond teen grossout.40 Days and 40 Nights produces some funny moments, but a more complex idea driving the comedy could have made for several more.


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