The Little Hours

What if nuns and priests were foul-mouthed and raunchy? Writer-director Jeff Baena apparently has these kinds of thoughts all the time, and he decided to write a whole movie about it, a 30-second punch line stretched to an agonizing 90 minutes.

Three young nuns are having an unhappy time in a convent in the middle ages. the-little-hours-still-1_31377951785_o-1200x520Alessandra (Alison Brie) was placed there by her father (Paul Reiser), because it’s cheaper than paying her dowry, but no amount of needle point can replace the touch of a man. Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza) is secretly a witch who thinks a nunnery is a great place to recruit vulnerable young women into the coven she shares with her her lover (Jemima Kirk). Ginevra (Kate Micucci) is generally pretty oblivious but when a sexy deaf-mute (Dave Franco) is brought into the enclave by Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly), it shakes things up quite a bit.

Despite a pretty talented cast, I think my review could have ended after the first paragraph. There’s just not enough here for a whole movie. I didn’t laugh once. You have to do more than cuss anachronistically to earn my praise. It seems to think that the genre is joke enough in itself but the farce has no target and the film has no point.

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10 thoughts on “The Little Hours

  1. Christopher

    Sounds like this could pretty much start and stop with, “My sister was a nun until she found out what none meant,” a joke that really only works when said aloud.
    The sad thing is there are plenty of interesting stories of love and lust in monasteries, and there’s even the legend of Pope Joan, and it wouldn’t have taken much more effort to adapt one of them.

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  2. Liz A.

    That’s actually a great premise. In the middle ages, girls were put in convents just to get rid of them. Sounds like they didn’t go deep enough with it, though. I’ll pass.

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  3. ninvoid99

    I was watching this film earlier today but stopped during the halfway point as I had things to do. So far, it’s pretty good as I know what will happen since I have seen Pasolini’s film version of The Decameron.

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  4. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    Sounds like there’s lots of little threads in this story that could be interesting films in their own right if developed properly. I’d be down to see a film about a secret witch nun who converts nuns to become other secret witches. Alas! Nice one Jay!

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  5. Lady Celery

    Well, I actually loved the movie and also I feel it should not be neglected to mention, that the displayed behaviour of the nuns is most probably historically accurate (I mean the swearing, not the witch craft).

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