I was wildly intrigued by the premise of "The Little Hours". It looked hilarious, and the fact that it was loosely based upon a work of Renaissance literature was astounding to me. I was planning on traveling to see it if I had to, but I was super excited when it came to the theater where I work.
I can totally understand why this movie has been so divisive. For one, there is the humor. If taken one way, it can be seen as making fun of the religion of Christianity and glorifying sin and blasphemy. On the other hand (and in the way in which I feel it was intended), it is a sharp and exaggerated satire on both the era in which it takes place and the era in which we live. Through the use of modern vernacular in the film, it seems as if the filmmaker is trying to relate the modern audience to the characters, and as such, is providing commentary on the simple desires of modern society. I may be overthinking this, but I maintain that it is actually pretty smart. And regardless of that, I found it to be really funny, and I'm not easily offended. Another complaint that I have heard is that there wasn't really a plot. I do admit that the storyline in the film is extremely loose. However, if you have read much on the film, it is well-known that the film was made on a 19-page outline, with most of the dialogue being improvised. As such, it makes sense that the film plays out like a series of interconnected situations, in an almost sketch-comedy-like way. The thing is, I like sketch comedy. It also makes sense because of the fact that the work from which the film takes its inspiration is a series of short stories, rather than a cohesive novel.
The cinematography and execution of the film is definitely on the higher end of comedies, but isn't anything too flashy, which works. The use of music is great, with the score sounding very quirky, almost like one out of a Wes Anderson movie. The production design is also great, periodizing the film excellently. The cast is very well-selected, with John C. Reilly delivering my favorite performance in the film. I thought that Kate Micucci was a little bit over-the-top at times (but just a little), and Nick Offerman and Fred Armisen were a bit underused (even though they were both hilarious).
Overall, i thought that "The Little Hours" was a really good comedy. The film did a good job of executing its hilarious premise. It is even more impressive that it was done mostly through improvisation. Yeah, it isn't perfect, but I loved it for what it was, and then some.
The Little Hours
Big Tuna's Rating: A
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.