Owen Gleiberman
March 15, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

40 Days and 40 Nights

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
03/01/02
performer
Josh Hartnett, Paulo Costanzo, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Monet Mazur, Shannyn Sossamon, Emmanuelle Vaugier
director
Michael Lehmann
distributor
Miramax
author
Rob Perez
genre
Comedy, Romance

We gave it a B-

It takes a bit of originality to make a teen flick in which the hero spends the entire time trying not to get laid. Matt (Josh Hartnett), a sweet-tempered San Francisco Web designer, uses the occasion of Lent to abstain from all sexual activity, including the solo variety. The movie, which is nothing more than American Pie with milder fruit filling, is virtually designed to be an oglefest in spite of itself. That said, it gets better as it goes along, mostly because Hartnett, with his hurtin’ James Dean stare, does something unexpectedly charming. He convinces us that Matt truly wants to stay orgasm-free, even as he’s reduced to a quivering jellypile of hormones, all so that he can get back in touch with himself (so to speak).

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