The Little Hours (dir. Jeff Baena)


A loose parody of 14th century novel The Decameron, The Little Hours (dir. Jeff
Baena) features Dave Franco as a runaway who, pretending to be a deaf-mute, starts
hooking up with nuns at a convent. The entire cast is a comedy powerhouse- Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Fred
Armisen, and John C. Reilly. Clearly, some effort was made to cast people with excellent
comic timing. In the theatre I saw this film in, all Fred Armisen had to do to get the
audience to laugh was appear onscreen as a Bishop. Before saying a word, Fred
Armisen, in full 14th century Bishop gear, got the loudest laugh in the entire
screening. That’s not really a testament to how good the film is but to how good a
comedian Fred Armisen is. That’s probably the biggest problem with the film, it
relies a bit too heavily on the talents of the cast to carry it through, but as a whole is
just a bit sloppy in very basic ways-plot and character development. The joke
that 14th century nuns talk to each other the same way modern-day folks do wears
old after a while. Jeff Baena also directed Life After Beth, which suffers from the
same syndrome of relying too heavily on a quirky concept and Aubrey Plaza’s
presence to save a script that’s only okay. But to be fair, I mostly enjoyed Life After
Beth, although I laughed a bit harder at The Little Hours. So maybe Jeff Baena knows
what he’s doing. Flaws aside, this is a movie in which we get to see Aubrey Plaza as
a bisexual witch/nun, a role she was born to play. And that’s at least worth

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