Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
So I saw Forty Days and Forty Nights (sparse IMDB…
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
So I saw Forty Days and Forty Nights (sparse IMDB listing) on Thursday night. Blech! I'm glad I saw it for free. I wonder if I'd rationalize its flaws away if I'd paid money to see it. Good thing I wouldn't do that. Now that I don't hang out with movie addicts, I'm like the fella in the Onion story who, at the age of thirty, can't stand camp anymore and only wants to read and listen to and watch media experiences that are actually good.
But back to the review.
As the SF Chronicle astutely noted, the first half was okay, even funny. But as the "plot" progressed, I tired of the gimmick, of the stars, of the costars, of everything.
I disliked EVERYONE in this film! The lead characters wasted all their political capital with me by acting like idiots. I know, it's a romantic comedy, I should expect some foibles, but I wince at the rampant anti-communication doctrine of these jokers. The lead, Josh Hartnett -- aside from looking a bit like Leonard ("lantern-jawed"?), little to recommend him. The female -- I liked her until I found out her occupation. She helps populate the blocked-URLs list for Internet blocking software! We're supposed to LIKE that she works for a censorship firm? (As Leonard pointed out, I'm not exactly the target audience.) And every supporting character was gratuitously annoying to the point of evil.
In all fairness, the movie has some pretty shots of San Francisco, and I actually liked the dot-com settings (what can I say, I'm sentimental). Still -- watch Gosford Park or The Muppets Take Manhattan instead. And, in general, avoid movies with titles of the type "N [time-periods] [conjunction] N' [time-periods]".
Oh, and the great thing about watching Forty Days and Forty Nights with Benoit is that he commented afterwards, in his Toulouse accent, "Americans are so strange."