40 Days and 40 Nights Movie Poster Image

40 Days and 40 Nights

Mildly amusing Josh Hartnett sex comedy.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Dishonesty; and casual sex is made out to be the norm.


A woman ties up a man and has sex with him without his consent.


Extremely explicit sexual situations and references: casual sex, masturbation, nudity, Viagra, pornography (one tape is titled: In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon), a same-sex kiss just for effect, overall skanky behavior, and a used condom.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has extremely explicit (often humiliating) sexual situations and references, including casual sex, masturbation, nudity, Viagra, pornography (one tape is titled: In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon), a same-sex kiss just for effect, overall skanky behavior, and a used condom. A woman has sex with a man without his consent (he is tied to the bed and thinks she is someone else). There is very strong language. Characters drink and smoke. Some viewers will be offended by the portrayal of a Catholic seminarian (Matt's brother), who is having his own problems with the vow of chastity.

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

After being dumped by his girlfriend, Matt (Josh Hartnett) gives up sex for Lent. Enter the lithe and lissome Erica (Shannyn Sossamon of A Knight's Tale), whom he enjoys getting to know without jumping into bed. After a while it becomes awkward, and when she finds out what he's doing and that there's actually a website devoted to whether he'll last for 40 days, she feels hurt and betrayed. Then Nicole (Vinessa Shaw), the girl who dumped him, re-enters the picture.

Is it any good?


At the heart of a sex farce is someone who wants to have sex (preferably illicit) but is amusingly thwarted; this gives us the best of both worlds. We get to vicariously enjoy the illicit possibilities and feel righteously smug about the agonies the characters go through in pursuit of their quest. The problem these days is in finding believable excuses for keeping the characters apart. Not quite in the category of believable, even within the low-credibility threshold of a comedy, is this movie's premise.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Matt sees the world differently (literally and metaphorically) as a result of his vow. How would his relationship with Erica have been different if he had not taken the vow? Why was he unable to enjoy casual sex? Was it really his lingering feelings for Nicole or was it a sense that he had not connected with her any more than he did with his one-night stands?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 1, 2002
DVD/Streaming release date:September 17, 2002
Cast:Josh Hartnett, Paulo Costanzo, Shannyn Sossamon
Director:Michael Lehmann
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sexual content, nudity and language.

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Adult Written bydepewcampbell November 9, 2010

Sex scenes, good message, funny. Depends on your kid....

This movie may have some explicit sex scenes and talk, but the message it actually a good one. Basically the main character gives up all sexual activities, even hugging, so he can focus more on the rest of life. While he does this to get over a girl, it is shown through out the movie that without sex in the picture this guys life changes. He learns to love this girl for who she is, and he also works harder, which is kind of funny. His friend unfortunately bet to see if he can go all 40 days, and they even try and force him into losing. While the movie is more for a good laugh it still has an okay message. But it is all up to how you think your child can handle sex scenes.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Parent Written by915071 April 25, 2013
Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe May 26, 2010
I remember seeing this when I was a little younger, and being vaguely ok with the movie. I wouldn't reccomend it for children though.