Based on the collection of novellas, The Decameron, by Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio, The Little Hours is an outrageous raunchy comedy that follows a young man who takes refuge in a convent in an effort to escape his master. During his stay, the young man realises the sisters at the convent might not behave the way you would expect them too. Jeff Baena directs The Little Hours, which stars Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Jemima Kirke, Nick Offerman, Fred Armisen, and Paul Reiser.
To really get a feel for what you are going to see in The Little Hours I would recommend the Red Band trailer, because that way you will get the perfect example for the kind of movie and its crude humour you are about to watch. The setting might be Middle Ages Italy but the language and characters feel straight out of 2017. Having foul-mouthed, sexually frustrated nuns swearing and violently beating people is the main joke of the movie, but it is something that is able to spawn off several humorous and outright weird moments.
The Little Hours might have one humour trope it relies on but it is the cast that make the joke work. Many of the characters feel like R Rated versions of characters that the main cast has portrayed before. Aubrey Plaza appears to be in her element as Fernanda, one of the main nuns who might have some anger issues. She gives off a foul-mouthed, April Ludgate vibe, but with a different type of charm. Allison Brie’s Alessandra is similar to some of her previous roles, the rich girl who wants to get married and then begins to rebel. Like Plaza, Brie is in her natural acting element, which allows her to have fun with the role and keep the character engaging. The supporting cast do a fantastic job as well, adding to the raunchy humour in what I could only imagine would have been an impossible shoot, or at least there must be a large number of outtakes. The scenes between Dave Franco and John C Reilly were some of my favourites, in particular the confessing of the sins. The combination of Middle Ages dialogue with modern day speak blends together hilariously throughout The Little Hours, but it is in these scenes that it works best.
This film is definitely an interesting viewing experience. I believe this is the film that when viewed with a group may become more humorous, but on a solo viewing you can pick up on some of the films subtlety. The film itself is interesting, because it doesn’t feel like a conventional story; it doesn’t have a typical three-act structure, or a through line. Baena also uses some interesting shots throughout the movie that set the setting for the presumed period piece that would typically accompany a film set in the middle ages.
The Little Hours has one joke that is used throughout the film, but somehow it works. I had fun viewing this movie and felt that there was some very interesting filmmaking techniques used through out. I don’t think it will make my favourite movies of the year but it is something that is easy to watch and have a few laughs at.
If you are a fan of raunchy, sex comedies, or the actresses in this movie then it’s definitely worth checking out.
The Little Hours scores a 6/10
Thanks for reading my review. Have you seen The Little Hours? Does this seem like something that would interest you? Be sure to check out the Red Band trailer below.
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