When we talked to Alison Brie, she described “The Little Hours,” premiering on June 30 pretty succinctly. “Raunchy medieval nun comedy?” Turns out she’s right.
“The Little Hours” is a film that sees a handful of your comedy faves — Brie joins Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci, Dave Franco and Molly Shannon, among others — and drops them into beautiful scenic Italy. Here’s the thing, though. They’re in 14th century, and the women? Well, they’re nuns. Nuns with filthy, 21st century mouths.
A loose adaptation of two stories from Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” “The Little Hours” follows a number of hijinks spurred from the desperation of sexual frustration, and whatever drugs, booze and revelry these characters can get their hands on.
Franco plays Massetto, a servant in the castle of Lord Bruno (Nick Offerman), who is on the run after having an affair with the lord’s wife. Father Tommasso — played beautifully by John C. Reilly — has a wine-addled run in with Masseto and asks him to work as a gardener at the monastery.
Predicting that the sexually pent up nuns Fernanda (Plaza), Alessandra (Brie) and Genevra (Micucci) will go bananas at the site of the (very taut) Massetto, the Father tells the young man to pretend to be a deaf mute. It goes about as well as expected.
It's fun and it's funny, and surprisingly sexy — see again, Franco's very taut body. And there's nudity aplenty — take the naked bonfire full of twirling witches, for example. The only problem with the film is that it is, at times, tonally inconsistent, which Brie copped to. “You’re sort of never sure what you’re gonna get,” she said. But the actress notes that this isn't a bad thing. “[There’s] actual passion and tension. And it’s kind of weird! It maybe makes people uncomfortable, and that, to me, is exciting.”
It's exciting for the audience too to watch a film that combines several genres without foregoing the comic bits. After all, “The Little Hours” is very funny.
Besides, sometimes all you really need is Aubrey Plaza in a nun’s habit, screaming obscenities to a man who meekly glances her way, innocently commenting on how beautiful the morning is.
Follow Rachael Vaughan Clemmons on Twitter — @rachaelclemz