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Netflix proves to be a bit of a disappointment when it comes to new women-led comedies. I managed to sit through the whole of Someone Great without laughing once. Rough Night I could barely manage 40 minutes without turning the generic tripe off. Producers will just hoover up a bunch of popular comediennes from better shows, ditch them in a "drunk party goes wrong" scenario and hope they'll get another Bride's Maids or Nine to Five without investing in any quality writing. After a lot of searching, I eventually found The Little Hours, buried at the bottom of a genre list of Netflix, released without any fanfare.
Within the opening shot, The Little Hours is head over shoulders better than those other films I mentioned. We see a nun leading a donkey across picturesque Italian meadows, haunting choir music plays in the background, and the opening credits play out in a fancy yellow 70s typeface. It's not what you'd expect for a movie that's also literally about a drunk party going wrong, but that's why it works in the film's favour.
Little Hours is based on The Decameron. Though it takes place in a European medieval nunnery, the cast speak in anachronistic modern English and make no effort to hide their American accents, much in the same style as The Death of Stalin. For a story, we are shown a trio of nuns with an incredibly violent "pack mentality" towards men. At the same time, a handsome servant is on the run after cuckolding the local lord, and is invited to hide out at the nunnery as a death-mute gardener. His presence arouses concern and curiosity from the nuns.
So we get a lot of the scenes from a typical modern led comedy. The women drink, do drugs, get horny, and find themselves into mischief. But because its re-contextualised into an original medieval setting, and because they're supposed to be goddamn nuns, it is inherently funnier. It also helps that they cast Aubrey Plaza, who is eccentric enough to ad lib her way through psychopathic, hedonist, medieval nun role without a sweat.
If you are looking for a comedy that's a little different, and you happen to be an Aubrey Plaza fan, you would do yourself right by looking up this understated little movie on Netflix.
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