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After being brutally dumped by his knockout ex-girlfriend, Matt (Josh Hartnett,Pearl Harbor) is so torn up inside that he vows to give up sexual activity--including masturbation--for Lent. His friends and coworkers start betting on how soon he'll crack. Their skepticism is given fuel when Matt meets Erica (Shannyn Sossamon,A Knight's Tale) at a laundromat. They're immediately smitten with each other, but Matt struggles to stay true to his vow, even though it threatens to founder his potential relationship with Erica. Based on this description, you might think that40 Days and 40 Nightsis religious educational video--however, the barrage of sex gags and frequent nudity would quickly dispel this notion. Almost nothing in this movie remotely resembles human behavior. Some movies are sodeeplystupid that they're depressing to watch; this is one of them.--Bret Fetzer
Funny but somewhat of a tired concept Ok I admit I watched this only because it was set in San Francisco. The premise is good but I really doubt anyone could be that heartbroken that they won't give someone else a chance for an extended period of time. Physical comedy aside the formula is great for the late teens/early 20's set but it fails to have a clear message other than make celibacy one big joke. the acting isn't bad but the story doesn't transition past much else other than cheap jokes.
Life imitates art... Someone else wrote something about recalling their personal experiences that this movie conjured up for them. Well, in a similar but different way, I have to admit that I did the opposite and actually imitated the movie...or at least the general premise of it. Granted the scenes and subplots were somewhat outlandish and contrived, but this was an overall inspiring movie for me at a time when I too was looking for meaning in what was then a very unmeaningful phase in my life.
Without coming off like some kind of wannabe player, I will just say that I had enough casual experiences with beautiful women to realize that this was not a way to fill in the void that only true love could render--yeah, you know what's right but you take a few wrong turns to actually get why it is, ya mean? (that's Brooklyn for, "do you understand what I am saying?")LOL
Anyway, a year ago, I did the 40/40 fast and I must say that situations that might have been considered for alternate scenes for this movie definitely began to happen to me, especially from the African-American male point of view (lol). I avoided situations that I would later want to slap myself for not engaging in (e.g. why did the most beautiful woman in the entire club, whom every man seemed to be after, decide to just randomly sit by me and why did she try to molest me on the dancefloor, later on, when I explained to her when she asked why I was purposely keeping my distance from her heavenly-sculpted body (sometimes I get migraines thinking about how much resistance I had to put up that night). 40 days/nights is definitely not an impossible feat, but when women can just seem to sense that you are doing something to resist them sexually...wow...just evil! It can really become a serious challenge, especially if you were as social as I was--hell, I'm a musician and was also an Entertainment writer back then--got me?! LOL
So, I guess the movie got to me because I related to it on a very personal level and learned a lot about myself, women, and increased willpower in the process.
As far as standout scenes in the movie...man...you gotta love the "white orchid" scene where Matt and Erica attempt physical intimacy while still playing by the his rules and not actually touching each other (LESSON: Foreplay gives equal or greater pleasure than sex for a lot of women).
His roommate was hilarious as his antagonist and the reason everyone all over the city seemed to know about his fast and was betting on him.
The "Bagel Guy" was a great character and great for running jokes (i.e. his name and that he knows everybody's business).
Nicole was definitely hot and I know for a fact that Matt's run-in with her when she came by his place and he resisted her (which only made her hornier) is not contrived! Cold showers don't do squat...a long brisk walk (even running...away, quickly) really helps!
His hot female co-workers testing him on two occasions to bend his will and break him...brings back memories!
Erica would definitely be a challenge to resist, considering she was sexy, cool, and a prime reason for Matt to engage in sex again, but this time in a monogamous, fulfilling relationship; and for the ladies reading, they're a good number of men out there that actually would prefer that...and don't live with their mother, aren't psycho, and actually have a life and are attractive (lol) ;)
Overall, this movie is a good buy if you fall into the American Pie age demographic but aren't opposed to a pro-monogamous message...even if it isn't the most serious or realistic one. And if you try to do the 40/40 fast...don't commit to something you can't finish!!
Now I'm in a monogamous, reciprocally-loving relationship with my girlfriend who represents the type of woman I need to be with that I can share myself with sexually in a spiritually-fulfilling way...but why, in all irony, is SHE a virgin??? LOLArt imitates life I picked up this movie just wanting some raunchy humor and some lite entertainment, but was absolutely positively shocked at an eerie parallel that it showed in my own life. Years ago I was going out with the Matt character, who had a girlfriend (quite a while before he met me) named Nicole who dumped him, walked away and never spoke to him again. I am not so vain and self centered to think that I was the "girl of his dreams", but I think I am a damned good woman. He would not, could not stop talking about her. He still sent her presents and letters, and told her that he would always be there for her. When I asked him why he was doing this (he never kept it a secret from me), he said it was his duty to look after her and keep her safe even though everthing was returned to him unopened. He was a deeply religious man who took the "No sex for Lent" to apply to all days of the year, and he spent many days and nights in extreme sexual frustration. Finally, unable to commit to me after a year of whining codependence, sexual absenance, and being absolutely positively determined that someday somehow Nicole would come back to him, he broke it off to become a priest. About a year later he married another woman who wasn't Nicole. No really.
This movie brings out a lot of things that are otherwise typical male fantasy and frustration. Matt, the main character, is devistated that the old girlfriend Nicole broke up with him, and has decided the only way to get it out of his system is to abstain from sex for Lent. He will not just not sleep with other women, but abstain from all aspects (porn, masterbation, etc.). This is no easy feat for a man, as men are hardwired to think about nothing but sex at every waking moment. The hilarity ensues with his friends taking bets on how long he can last, suddenly all women around him looking hotter, and all the sexual reference one can imagine. He, naturally, meets the girl of his dreams and cannot break his promise until after said 40 days are over. She gets annoyed, he gets insane, and it all works out in the end.
I don't really know where I stand on this, except it was just an eerie coincidence as to something that happened to me in real life. It struck me as being very self centered or maybe insecure of Matt to not tell his new girlfriend about this. Had I been in her position I would have been as sympathetic as possible. But Matt was at least likable and did not spend every waking moment whining to his friends and aquaintence "Oh whoa is me, Nicole left me". Unlike some people. He had a purpose, and did not lie to himself about his feelings or wants. The rest of the movie is just filler, filled with smutty references and sex jokes that unfortunately sends this movie into the "it's just ok" field.
I guess the biggest question here is if Matt emerged as a stronger, wiser person because of this choice. To me, I didn't see it that way. He seemed the same, except that he had successfully moved on from his old girlfriend to a new one. He didn't earn the admiration of his friends who knew about it, instead they shook their heads and laughed at him behind his back. And the new girlfriend didn't seem any different either, except she must have been glad they didn't have to wait anymore. And of course, for me, I wondered where this all lead to the real people that this movie unknowingly imitated. The "Matt" and "Nicole" real people are most likely still married to their spouses, the real "Matt" has probably conveniently forgotten about all these things from my perspective. As the viewing audience, I can't help but feel bitter and hurt by it. But that's the past. I was the one who emerged the stronger from this experience. I am no longer weak and eager to make others happy, I am strong. And because I am strong, I met a wonderful man with who I am happy with who doesn't need a mother.