The Little Hours

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This might be the best cast of comedic actors you’ll ever see in a comedy that is this unfunny. Every 10 minutes of this, my wife and I would look at each other and ask, “What’s funny about this?”

Now, the first 15 minutes was a bit amusing. After that, it was all down hill. You start to wonder if they even had a script with jokes or if they were all improvising

At the halfway point I told my wife it was like the filmmakers were trying to make a Monty Python or Mel Brooks movie. She added, “But without any laughs.”

Even though these are medieval times, we hear contemporary conversation and curse words. Early on, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Jemima Kirke all scream at the groundskeeper that works at the convent. I suppose that’s a little amusing. If it were a sketch on SNL or Funny or Die.

After being pelted by turnips, and called a Jew, the groundskeeper quits. That puts the priest played by John C. Reilly in a bind, and in a drunken stupor. He finds Dave Franco, who is a man-servant for Nick Offerman’s Lord Bruno. He’s caught sleeping with his wife and is on the run. Reilly suggests he pretend to be a deaf mute that works for him. That will keep the hot and horny nuns at bay. You can guess how that is going to turn out.

Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates) is usually hysterical. She reminds me of Charlie Day. They’re both short, both have funny voices and facial expressions in various comedies. It’s a shame she’s wasted here; but then, every funny person in the cast is. Fred Armisen shows up as a bishop that wants to check the books. Paul Reiser, who played a caring dad in Whiplash, plays a caring dad here, who can’t raise the dowry for his daughter to land a husband.

Dave Franco’s appearance made me think of his brother’s equally unfunny medieval comedy Your Highness.

Writer/director Jeff Baena, who made Life After Beth and the terrifically titled Joshy, is probably best known for writing I Heart Huckabees. All of those had a few funny moments, but weren’t very good. He really struck out here. It’s so bad, I’m not even sure how to describe it. Satirical? Farcical? It’s based on the first tale of the third day in The Decameron, a collection of novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio written in the 1300’s.

It had two things going for it — It was only an hour and half long, and it had a great cast.

I’ll give it 1 star out of 5 for those things.


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