Movie Review – The Little Hours
Category : Movie Review
Director: Jeff Baena
The Little Hours may be the closest we’ll get to a modern day Monty Python movie, and it does the ridiculous, irreverent, anti-religious, pro-sexualized comedy troupe justice with its wit & its homage. Catholic organizations came out to publicly criticize this film, calling it pure trash, showing that it hit its mark, and only serving to make me want to see it all the more. I love Monty Python, I love sticking it to organized religion, and I love when films can take a “pure” setting and can show us just how impure people can be. This movie takes a comedic approach to actually reach a serious conclusion; that the world deserves to be made fun of, that people are generally idiots, and that nothing is above our ridicule.
In a castle in the Middle Ages, a young servant finds himself in deep water when he sleeps with his master’s wife and is discovered in her bed. Fleeing into the countryside to escape certain death, he stumbles upon a silly Father who invites him back to the local nunnery to work in the gardens and be of whatever service God requires. But the sisters there aren’t your typical nuns, and they haven’t seen a boy in quite some time. Alessandra just wants to get married, her father keeping her boarded until the proper time. Fernanda is a bad girl, sneaking off and doing who-knows-what in the night. Ginerva is a tattle teller, but wishes to experience all the things she is afraid of. Combined, there are too many hormones for religion to control, and things will get messy.
This is a movie that I immediately wanted to watch again, not because it was perfection, but rather because it was so audacious that I assumed I would laugh even more the second time through after the element of surprise had passed. It’s subtle sometimes, blatant others, but always carries a humor that I appreciated, a Python-esque disregard for the socially acceptable that makes some people uncomfortable but cracks me straight up. It’s not as stupid as Your Highness or films like that, it’s more a modernization of an old novel, a thrusting in our faces of the reality of a time & people that we’d like to assume the best of but should probably expect the worst from. Reilly, Shannon, Armisen, Offerman; the grownups stole the show, their comedy flowing superbly through the story, the kids providing the action but the adults sowing the seeds. I really would watch Little Hours again; it was both that good and that intriguing.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆