In the Middle Ages, a young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns. Introduced as a deaf mute man, he must fight to hold his cover as the nuns try to resist temptation.
On the run from the battle-seasoned Lord Bruno for sleeping with his wife, the handsome and willing servant, Massetto, flees to the safety of the woods during the warm and peaceful summer of 1347. There, after a chance encounter with the always boozy but merciful Father Tommasso, the young charmer will find refuge into his convent's sanctuary, on one condition: to pretend he is a deaf-mute. However, Massetto's tempting presence will unavoidably upset the already frail balance of things within the sexually-repressed female realm, as nun after nun desperately seeks an escape from their tedious way of life and an extra reason to molest the charming handyman. In the end, will those cloistered Sisters finally find out what they had been missing out on all these years?Written by
Director Jeff Baena also directed Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Paul Reiser, and Adam Pally in the movie "Life After Beth." See more »
[Warning. Potential Spoilers Ahead]
Here are my sins. I have slept with another man's wife. He's a nobleman, and he is my master.
Well, that's adultery.
It's a very serious sin.
Sometimes... she would place her mouth around my sex.
Well, that's sodomy. It's also a serious sin.
Is it also considered sodomy if... if I placed my mouth on her sex while... she simultaneously had... had her mouth around mine?
Why would you do that?
Because, she... she liked it.
Oh. Well, yes, that's also ...
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The 11th Commandment: Thou Shall Not See This Movie!
(RATING: ☆☆ out of 5 )
THIS FILM IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
IN BRIEF: A ribald farce whose biggest sin is its unfunny screenplay.
SYNOPSIS: Lustful nuns run rampant in this sex comedy set in the Middle Ages.
JIM'S REVIEW: Bless me father, for we have sinned...big time. In the independent comedy, The Little Hours, little time is spent on subtleties. Shock value is frequent, both in language and in actions, as we meet some nuns who are sexually deviants in the highest order. (Needless to say, many Catholic groups are protesting this film's sacrilegious content.)
Loosely based on The Decameron, Jeff Baena's subversive film takes us behind the walls of a 13th century convent and squarely in the midst of a trio of lustful sisters, Alessandra (Alison Brie), Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza), and Ginerva (Kate Micucci) who are "beguiled" by a new handyman, Massetto (Dave Franco). He is posing as a deaf mute and in hiding from Lord Bruno (Nick Offerman), who is after him for bedded his wife (Lauren Weedman). The convent and temporary sanctuary is run (or mismanaged) by Sister Marea (Molly Shannon) and Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly) and it is coming undone from all of these farcical complications.
One might recommend this film to the most liberally-minded of individuals, but even that is questionable as Mr. Baena squanders his chances by playing up the sexual antics while playing down the real farce. The non-stop profanity and sexual situations could easily offend the more conservatively-based moviegoers just within the first ten minutes of the movie itself. But if you are one of the ribald loving few, who likes their raunchy hi-jinks with a satirical sting, this is your kinda movie. For me, the satire was lost.
The title makes no sense, but then neither does the movie. The film wants to be outrageous and edgy but it never goes far enough, mostly due to a scattershot screenplay that seems more improvised than written. Characters are walking clichés and the plot remains a series of unfulfilled opportunities and comic possibilities.
The Little Hours more often provides groans with a few laughs in-between, mostly due to its nimble cast of players who know their way around a good joke or two (although finding a good joke in this movie is indeed a spiritual quest. But the film cannot sustain its own comic energy and some of the set pieces seem like routine SNL skits rather than well written satire.
Only Ms. Plaza, Ms. Micucci, Mr. Reilly, and Ms. Weedman delivering a few chuckles. Fred Armisen also makes a quick appearance as a visiting bishop and his droll humor in one short scene does registers. Sadly, the talented cast is wasted.
Granted, the director has a small budget, but Mr. Baena has an even smaller vision. As the screenwriter, he rarely builds any comic conflict to the absurd degree it needs to be remotely funny. He also unwisely allows his actors to speak in modern day jargon which becomes labored and their pratfalls are non-existent.
The Little Hours is unfunny and disappointingly dull. It may be the longest hour and a half any moviegoer shall endure...and that is the ultimate sin. The filmmakers should say three Hail Marys and an act of contrition over this dud.
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