Based on a tale found in The Decameron, an 1886 collection of novellas by Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio, The Little Hours is a comedy written and directed by Jeff Baena (Life After Beth). It stars an ensemble cast featuring Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, and Nick Offerman.
Medieval nuns Alessandra (Brie), Fernanda (Plaza), and Ginevra (Micucci) lead a simple life in their convent. Their days are spent chafing at monastic routine, spying on one another, and berating the estate’s day laborer. After a particularly vicious insult session drives the peasant away, Father Tommasso (Reilly) brings on new hired hand Massetto (Franco), a virile young servant forced into hiding by his angry lord. Introduced to the sisters as a deaf-mute to discourage temptation, Massetto struggles to maintain his cover as the repressed nunnery erupts in a whirlwind of pansexual horniness, substance abuse, and wicked revelry.
“It’s got comedy and it’s got drama, and it occupies a nebulous zone between,” Baena explains. “Obviously, it’s funny and has a lot of jokes in it, but my intention is to create something richer and more layered than just a comedy.”
The Little Hours is rated 14A.