Josh Hartnett must be shot before he tries to act again, we’ve got to take this fucker down. And I’m serious.
I don’t think there’s anything negative I can say about 40 Days and 40 Nights that wouldn’t come out as a severe understatement. To say that ‘fucking wretched’ is an understatement would be, itself, an understatement. To say ‘the worst time at the movies in recent memory’ would be unfair, as it rivals some of the worst non-movie times in recent memory as well. To say that first time screenwriter Rob Perez ‘deserves to be tossed in the middle of the fucking Pacific’ would be fine, except that I really think we need more water than that. We’ve got to make sure this guy doesn’t ever come back.
Though I’m sure you know it, I’d like to recap the plot, just for kicks: Josh Hartnett is hot. So he decides to abstain from sex for Lent. And that’s it. That’s the movie.
Of course, conflict arises, mainly because, like I mentioned earlier, Josh Hartnett is hot. And it doesn’t help that he’s living in a world in which every female character acts like a Maxim centerfold come to life. Or that he’s forced to fly over a computer-generated sea of boobs. No, I’m not kidding. It’s probably the most fucked up, embarassing, horrible thing I’ve ever seen on a big screen, aside from creepy British actor Griffin Dunne making his sickeningly vocal way to masturbatory climax. Which happens to be in the same movie.
It’s a fucking mess. Hartnett can’t act his way out of a paper bag, and he sure can’t act his way out of this piece of trash – playing ‘a bad liar’ he flutters his eyelids like an epileptic on daytime TV. Hiding a secret, he darts his eyes around like a mustache-twirling cartoon villain. Having a good time in one of the movie’s many feel-good montage sequences, his mouth hangs open like a dog. A slow dog.
It’s hardly even worth going over what happens in the movie — none of it makes any fucking sense. He falls in love with the girl at the laundromat, and for some reason they get into big fights over his vow – lots of crying and pleading and chasing ensues, none of it funny or interesting or worth watching. At all. There’s several dangling subplots that make a little more sense, but never amount to anything even approaching laughs: Josh’s brother, a priest-in-training wrestling with his own vows, provides advice until he ends up making out with a nun, which is the last we see of him. Josh’s boss at work, the aforementioned Griffin Dunne, is inspired by Josh’s vow and takes his own, which leads to Dunne to make lots of sweaty appearences, usually sporting a fake boner. But then, fake boners probably get more screen time in this movie than its only assett, Paulo Costanzo, who plays Hartnett’s roommate. It’s telling, though, that the funniest moments of the movie come in the precise comic pauses that Paulo takes between lines, rather than the lines themselves. In fact, Paulo’s hair alone is funnier than anything in the script. And you can find pictures of Paulo’s hair on the internet for free. Probably that sea of boobs, too.