‘The Little Hours’ (2017) – Sydney Film Festival Review

Ever wonder what nuns do on a daily basis? Not entirely sure what a religion entails because you haven’t actually followed one/you’re an athiest/don’t really care much on the matter? If you happen to catch The Little Hours at Sydney Film Festival this year, then you’re definitely in for lots of laughs and a fair few cringeworthy moments. With a stellar cast including the likes of Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco and Kate Micucci, this film has its moments of perfect comic relief balanced with crude humour at the same time. Some may find this film offensive for their liking but if you’re after something less serious and pokes fun on a sensitive subject matter, The Little Hours takes the cake.

Three sisters: Sister Alessandra (Alison Brie), Sister Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza) and Sister Genevra (Kate Micucci) all seem to be faithful to the Church and God, but all of this is erased when you hear them use foul-mouthed language, viciously attacking their own caretaker and making assumptions that he is a pervert. With their oddball ways and being under the wing of Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly), the sisters eventually boot off their previous caretaker and have a taste of the “sinful” world, exploring their sexuality even deeper, living far from the chaste life.

Father Tommasso suddenly befriends Masetto (Dave Franco) and he becomes the new caretaker of the convent as he escapes a previous life in being a servant to Lord Bruno (Nick Offerman) who catches him having an affair with his wife. However, Father Tommasso specifically instructs Masetto to pretend to be a deaf mute to avoid the sisters’ “interest” towards him. Of course, that all goes down the drain.

With The Little Hours getting mixed reviews by viewers, it’s understandable why this is the case. The roles of the sisters and the people within the church do not live up to the idealised Christian lifestyle and some may take it as rude and offensive. It comes down to having an open mind when watching the film. Otherwise, the storyline itself is hilarious and the characters’ development is portrayed quite well as the film progresses.

The addition of supporting actors John C. Reilly and Nick Offerman add vibrancy to The Little Hours too, making it a bit nostalgic for people who appreciate the film Step Brothers or the much-loved TV series Parks and Recreation. Offerman is hilarious in his role, making the most of his scenes and providing another pivoting storyline to the film. Reilly is incredible in his portrayal as Father Tommasso; a character who gets drunk from sacramental wine and has to deal with ridiculous confessions told by the sisters.

Though the first half of the movie seems dry and cringeworthy, the script picks up immensely in the second half where all the chaos happens. Praise can be given to director Jeff Baena for executing the purpose of the title to make people laugh their heads off.

Overall, The Little Hours reveals the lifestyle of a nun if they were “impure” and it deems to be a hilarious hypothetical. It’s imaginative, creative and a film that is guaranteed to create some belly laughs. Some will learn to preach about it, some won’t. In the end, The Little Hours proves to be an enjoyable watch, especially for those needing a little more comedy in their life!

The Little Hours made its Australian premiere on June 7 at Sydney Film Festival