"The Little Hours" (REVIEW)

The Little Hours is a comedic gem brimming with a who's who cast of comedic fan-favourites whose commitment to the material is crucial to the audience accepting the unusual but entirely entertaining premise. Writer and director Jeff Baena adapted the film's screenplay from The Decameron, a collection of novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio.

The film is loosely set all the way back in the 14th century, but viewers less inclined towards period pieces should still connect to the film with ease as the characters all maintain a more contemporary manner of speaking without making any blatant modern references. Much of the film is set at a covent full of nuns including those portrayed by Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Kate Micucci who engage in varying debauchery at one point or another throughout the film. Enter Dave Franco as Massetto, who goes on the run and also ends up at the convent after being caught having an affair with his former master's (portrayed by Nick Offerman) wife.

Much of the film's ensemble are utilised for their signature styles of comedy, such as Aubrey Plaza and Nick Offerman's deadpan delivery, but the overall product is a refreshing film that not only provides incidents and dialogue to make viewers laugh but offers commentary on the more archaic ideals and hypocrisy of certain religious rhetoric. The Little Hours is a film that work on multiple levels, ranging from the obvious laughs for the masses and the historical and sociopolitical implications of restrictive religious tendencies for the more intellectually-oriented viewers.

If the film's R-rating wasn't enough of an indication that the film is not for children, we will cosign on that by offering disclaimer warnings that there is profane language, sexual content, nudity, but also contains other forms of controversial content not included in the MPAA rating description. As previously stated, the film is one that if interpreted on a deeper level of analysis is offering commentary on the hypocrisy of certain religious tendencies. The more extreme religiosity can lead to bigotry which in the film manifests in the form of harmful language, or in more simple terms, hate speech. Those with greater sensitivity towards this type of language may be better off skipping it, or at the very least having a warning for it in advance and to use the more intellectual interpretation of the film's content.

The Little Hours is jam-packed full of comedic powerhouses that fully throw themselves into their characters, an absolute must for the audience to believe the delightfully absurd, heightened reality in which the film is set. There's laughs to be had from start to finish, and the chemistry of the leads along with their well-roundedness as actors leaves room for a surprisingly heartfelt resolution that's unexpected but still welcome after all the flashiness of the more outrageous plot points.


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