In the Middle Ages, a young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns. Introduced as a deaf mute man, he must fight to hold his cover as the nuns try to resist temptation.
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On the run from the battle-seasoned Lord Bruno for sleeping with his wife, the handsome and willing servant, Massetto, flees to the safety of the woods during the warm and peaceful summer of 1347. There, after a chance encounter with the always boozy but merciful Father Tommasso, the young charmer will find refuge into his convent's sanctuary, on one condition: to pretend he is a deaf-mute. However, Massetto's tempting presence will unavoidably upset the already frail balance of things within the sexually-repressed female realm, as nun after nun desperately seeks an escape from their tedious way of life and an extra reason to molest the charming handyman. In the end, will those cloistered Sisters finally find out what they had been missing out on all these years? Written by
Writer and director Jeff Baena only wrote a detailed outline for the film, which was loosely based on "The Decameron". The cast improvised their dialogue. See more »
[Warning. Potential Spoilers Ahead]
Here are my sins. I have slept with another man's wife. He's a nobleman, and he is my master.
Well, that's adultery.
It's a very serious sin.
Sometimes... she would place her mouth around my sex.
Well, that's sodomy. It's also a serious sin.
Is it also considered sodomy if... if I placed my mouth on her sex while... she simultaneously had... had her mouth around mine?
Why would you do that?
Because, she... she liked it.
Oh. Well, yes, that's also ...
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However, there is a great cast and a clever premise with some nice twists and turns, but it still ends up disappointingly unfunny and ungripping.
This is very subjective and I know you shouldn't judge a comedy just on how many lols it provokes, but it should be mentioned that in the theater there were no significant laughs.
The casting is great in every way (Allison Brie, Kate Micucci, John C. Reilley and really everyone). And its a very funny idea to see people like Aubrey Plaza and Fred Armison playing Medieval nuns and priests, but they just didn't capitalize on it.
The tone of dialogue is meant to be irreverent and modern, which it was, but somehow it just didn't jive or contrast with the setting in a way that worked. And it wasn't very funny. The style of the dialogue was kind of an experiment (having them speak in completely modern inflection with no effort to make them sound like they are from another time period), and it failed. It was a little too heavy handed, or too lazy. They should have taken a cue from Woody Allen's comedic period piece "Love and Death" which plays with a lot with different tones of dialogue (Woody Allen's character himself always being the neurotic modern voice). But doing that would require something which this film has little of: subtlety.
And then all the inspirational music at the end like we're watching a totally different kind of movie. A bit confused.
Like many period pieces, this film tells more about the period in which it was made (our time), than it does about the period in the film (the middle ages). One projects oneself onto the object in view and what you seem to be ridiculing is actually yourself. So this film is filled with an angst, malaise, and boredom that is very modern, very millennial. America has been projecting its ideals onto the whole world for a long time, just as Hollywood projects our modern mentality onto every epoch it deals with. Its very very hard for people to actually have empathy for cultures they don't know or understand and its very hard for modern people to have any grip on what life was actually like in previous ages. We only seem to project our own obsessions onto everything.
And this is fine b/c this is a farce and no one really goes to the movies looking for an actual history lesson, but unfortunately that's where we seem to get so many of our lessons (and unconsciously form our opinions).
Much of this is just ranting and besides the point.
Great cast, funny premise, but completely misses the mark.
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