Sometimes I see a movie I don’t vibe with and I have to just concede it wasn’t made for me. The Little Hours is that movie. Based on one story from a 14th century collection, it is a movie with some comedic greats (Aubrey Plaza, Dave Franco, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, even Paul Reiser for christsakes) doing some really interesting things that ultimately don’t amount to a whole lot.
It’s a mostly improvised effort only loosely based on the text, and with anachronisms in language and accents flying by. You kind of know what movie you’re in for when a trio of nuns yell at a gardener to “fuck off,” in the opening moments. It was a funny, stark moment that is a telling intro to the style of the movie to come, but while it’s certainly raunchy, devilish fun, it never goes too far with the comedy and the darker turns of the story are muddled in the absurdity of it all. There were only a few laugh out loud moments (my favorite being one that involves a turtle), although everything is mostly forgettable and slight with only a few jokes really landing.
The actors commit, and do their best to sell everything, I just found it mostly a slog to get through. There were no real stakes, and the extremes it went too both comicly and dramatically do little to provide any stakes or real movement.
Story is basically this: Franco is a local servant who is boning the wife of his master and when they are discovered, he takes off, finding sanctuary at a local convent, pretending to be a deaf/mute and stirring up a trio of nuns (Plaza, Brie, Micucci). There’s a little more to it, but really nothing matters. Everything is in service to the mugging the actors do and the attempt mining laughs from how straight everything is played. And while it certainly left me disappointed, I still kind of get why others have enjoyed this. It’s interesting. And A for effort, but the movie itself comes in a little lower.
My Grade – D