THE LITTLE HOURS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This is not just a naughty nuns and outrageous period piece comedy. It has an art house look and feel to it down to the soundtrack that was done with music that sounds like it was created in the 1400s. It was shot on location in the countryside outside of Tuscany in Italy. The director adapted stories drawn from Giovanni Boccaccio’s medieval book “The Decameron,” which he studied in college during a course called, “Sexual transgressions in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance”.
Even though it’s set in 1347 and the director was aiming for historical accuracy in the clothing and details, everyone speaks in a pitched contemporary up speak. In fact one of the first times we hear the nuns speak they’re yelling and cursing like sailors at the handyman in the convent.
From the very beginning of the movie with the opening sequence of a lone nun walking a donkey across the hills back to this great big dark convent and the title of the movie appears in old thyme looking font across the screen I knew this was going to be funny. It reminded me of the look and feel of old classic Mel Brooks films like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein.
This is a great comedic cast of old-school heavy hitters like John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, and Nick Offerman to the new kids on the block Alison Brie, Dave Franco, and Kate Micucci,. Even Fred Armisen makes a great appearance as Bishop Bartolomeo who has to sort through the litany of sins that are going on at this convent. Actually this is the kind of film that Robin Williams, if he were still alive, would probably have been cast as one of the priests or maybe even one of the nuns.
One of my favorite scenes in the film is the one where the nuns are just hanging out in one of the girls rooms at night, drinking stolen sacramental wine and singing along to a popular song they all know. Of course it sounds like a choir piece but they do it with the same swagger that’s used in every other chick flick “Dance & Sing-along” to a Katy Perry song bit.
Bottom line, if you’re easily offended, this is not the film for you. Don't buy a ticket. Don't sit through it rolling your eyes or sit there dropping your jaw wide open when everything from homosexuality amongst the nuns to witchcraft in the woods with naked women dancing around a bonfire is going on.
As a former Catholic, even I was shocked by a few of the scenes in this dry, witty, and cutting new film. But I also laughed my ass off when the Priest (John C Reilly) tells the fugitive servant (Dave Franco) who pretends to be a deaf-mute as he hides out at the convent that includes three young nuns (Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci), each dealing with personal crises of their own, “These girls can be tough, I am not going to lie to you. they can be very tough. They have physically attached people. It’s the pack mentality”. So if you are in the mood for a funny, blasphemous, bawdy, beautiful looking film then The Little Hours is for you.
Directed by Jeff Baena
Written By Jeff Baena
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 90min
Limited Release July 14th, Landmark Magnolia and Angelika Plano
Starring: Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Nick Offerman, Jemima Kirke