Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sex, Sex, Sex: Is That All Guys Think About?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sex, Sex, Sex: Is That All Guys Think About?

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Soergel, Times-Union movie writer

40 Days and 40 Nights is at its best when it sticks to smutty sex jokes. But when it tries to get all romantic and mushy, it falls apart.

Oh well. It's a good thing there are so many sex jokes, most of which I would be too embarrassed to mention here.

40 Days and 40 Nights stars teen heartthrob Josh Hartnett, displaying a sleepy-eyed, fumbling charm that should serve him well in the next couple of decades.

He's a San Franciscan named Matt who, after a bad breakup and a non-stop string of sexual adventures, decides to give up sex for the 40 days and nights of Lent.

All forms of sex, whether it's intercourse or masturbation or a simple kiss.

It will, of course, drive him crazy. "Guys? To them, 40 minutes is like an eternity," says a girl in the office.

Seinfeld did it first, and better, but 40 Days and 40 Nights, working from a quippy script by Robert Perez, gets a lot of mileage from its one-joke premise.

It's at its best in its depiction of Matt, his brother (a budding Catholic priest who's no help to him at all) and his male office workers.

It knows how these male 20-somethings talk and think: Yes, basically all they think about is sex.

But when it comes to women, it's clueless. They're one-dimensional pieces of cardboard, either shallow or sex-obsessed or really, really snippy.

On the first day of his vow, Matt falls for Erica (Shannyn Sossamon), the funky girl in the laundromat. But she's a character so vapid and unreasonable -- she's always walking off in a huff when a normal woman would simply shrug -- that you don't really care if Matt ever gets together with her.

Matt and Erica both work at firms, which means that, given the lag time between when the movie was filmed and when it was released, they're now both unemployed.

Watching this movie, you'll get nostalgic for 2000. His office is like a Chuck E. Cheese for 20-somethings: Exposed brick walls, mountain bikes everywhere, lots of bagels and a cooler full of beer for the taking. …

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