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40 days and 40 nights (Forty days and forty nights) - Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Vinessa Shaw, Michael Lehmann

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

It's easy to say but harder to do!

After a brutal break-up, Matt Sullivan (Josh Hartnett) vows to stay celibate during the 40 days of Lent but finds Erica (Shannyn Sossamon), the girl of his dreams, and is unable to do anything about it.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Romantic comedy guy movie celibacy Lent romance true love sex

Persons of interest

  • Vinessa Shaw .... Nicole
  • Monet Mazur
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal .... Samantha
  • Paulo Costanzo .... Ryan
  • Chris Gauthier .... Mikey
  • Rob Perez .... Screenwriter
  • Michael Lehmann .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A young man and his penis.

Or, more precisely, a penis and its young man.

It isn't impossible for a man to not have sex or even to not want to have sex, it's just that most men do want to and try to have it. Films like Tomcats are a great example of this but they are taken to be reality because no-one makes films about the guys who don't want sex because those sorts of films are boring. Filmmakers take note: stories are interesting because there's a conflict between what a character wants and what they can get; the harder it is to get it, the more interesting it is to watch.

Now, in the case of 40 days and 40 nights, the story is interesting because the protagonist is not only cute with a sexy body, a great job, a cool apartment and a romantic personality but his want (true love) is in conflict with his ability to get it (requires sex), made impossible by the difficulty of achieving it (vow of celibacy). If Matt breaks the vow he becomes a weakling with no control over himself but he gets the girl, although for how long is anyone's guess because she doesn't know his true character. If he keeps the vow he becomes a hero but at the risk of losing the love of his life, who doesn't want to wait. (That is a twist because it is usually the male of the species who is depicted as having to persuade the female to participate.)

All this conflict makes the film interesting for everyone: Matt is a modern day Lancelot on a holy quest. 40 days and 40 nights is also suitable for girls (includes huge babe factor, girl power, hot sex and romance) and for boys (includes blokes behaving badly, bloke behaving honourably, sexy chicks and hot sex).

Despite its adolescent behaviour, 40 days and 40 nights is sexy, funny and enjoyable, if you're into that sort of thing. Think American pie: the graduate years.

FYI: According to Jewish mythology, forty days and forty nights is the length of time that Jaweh caused rain to fall upon the Earth in the story of Noah and his ark.

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level sex scene, low level coarse language, sexual references)

Surveillance time

95 minutes (1:35 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 25 April 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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