Not since Magnolia has a film been so drunk on celebrity dick as 40 Days and 40 Nights. Matt (Josh Hartnett) is still hot for his ex-girlfriend Nicole, who’s now set to marry Morgan Stanley dick. It’s Lent in a gayless San Francisco and, rather than stop eating meat, Matt decides not to spank it for 40 days and 40 nights. Complicating matters is fellow dot-comer Erica (Shannyn Sossamon), whom Matt meets oh-so-cute at the local Laundromat. Bets are made, accompanying websites are launched and misunderstandings ensue. Despite its sitcomy, one-joke premise, 40 Days and 40 Nights is uncommonly sweet for a film so hung up on orgasms. Paul Costanzo is the weakest link, whose Ryan is barely tolerable beneath the 101-names-for-the-dick schtick (he says in one moment of desperation: “I need a Magnum for my magnum”). The misunderstandings are thankfully low on the “Three’s Company” scale while Hartnett and Sossamon’s chemistry is undeniably potent. Both bring an immeasurable level of class to the otherwise heterogeneous proceedings. While certainly glib when it comes to the male libido, it’s tough to dislike a film where Maggie Gyllenhaal questions the authenticity of the “immaculate orgasm.” At the very least, 40 Days and 40 Nights should provide couples with ample rose petals for thought.
Though some halos are noticeable on this DVD edition of 40 Days and 40 Nights, the anamorphic video transfer is near perfect. Skin tones are very natural, shadow detail is precise and color saturation is sizzling. There's nothing inherently spectacular to the film's sound design; nonetheless, dialogue is perfectly audible and directional sound effects during many of the film's exterior scenarios create a real sense of atmosphere.
If you own any Miramax DVD released in the last year, you've probably seen half the teasers (The Faculty, Bounce, The Gangs of New York, etc.) included on the Sneak Peeks featured here. Also available are the film's teaser trailer and a lively yet poorly recorded commentary track with director Michael Lehmann, writer Rob Perez and producer Michael London. Curiously, the track's interactive menu does not mention Perez and London's participation.
An underwhelming DVD package though the film's rock-solid look and sound should appeal to anyone hooked on Hartnett's package.