The Little Hours
Streaming on Amazon Prime
Metadata: 2017 | R | 1h 29m
Why did I watch it: I've loved Aubrey Plaza since she played April in Parks and Recreation largely because she's so unpredictable—and partly because she and my sister bear an uncanny resemblance. Her dead pan humor means she doesn't have any of the tells that a lot of actors have, and honestly probably pride themselves on. It makes her a lot of fun to watch.
You might also like: Parks and Rec on Netflix.
This movie is so weird! But in the best way! When an attractive and sweet young farm hand (Dave Franco)—pretending to be a deaf mute—comes to a medieval convent, where young women are sent not for their piety but for their family's financial benefit, you can imagine how a bunch of extremely bored nuns react: debaucherously. (That's not a word, but it should be.) This movie is loosely based on Giovanni Boccaccio's 14th century set of novellas The Decameron. While the set matches the time period, the language is 21st century English. Not only that, the actors improvised the entire script. Impressive, right? Three of the female leads, Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, and Aubrey Plaza, explainedto the LATimes that they read a lot of books about nuns and medieval times in preparation to shoot the movie, but when it came down to it, it was all improv. I knew that when I first watched this movie—in fact, that's part of the reason I watched it—and I can tell you it added this whole other element to the experience. I attributed so much more agency to the actors than I usually do (right or wrong) when watching a movie.
All of the actors in The Little Hours are seriously funny people, but of course Aubrey Plaza is a show-stopper. Her humor is really magnetic, which is why it's so impressive that she also knows how to get out of the way. Rather than stealing scenes from her other equally (though more predictably) funny co-stars, she dials her dead-pan humor down and back up in perfect accordance with what's going on in each scene. This makes it all the more impactful when she really lets loose. You'll know what I mean when you see it.
Do take note: This movie is seriously raunchy, so don't watch it if nudity offends you. Or if nuns dropping the f-bomb offends you. That said, in the exact words from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, "Get thee to the nunnery in The Little Hours!"
Happy Streaming! Grace