Who's in it: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Rasmus Hardicker,Charles Dance, Justin Theroux, Toby Jones
The Basics: If you have a sibling that can do no wrong, you will understand where Thadeous (McBride) is coming from. Fabious (Franco) is a brave conqueror--unstoppable, likeable, and handsome to boot. Thadeous is more just like a white,medieval version of Cheech AND Chong--no quests or swordfighting for him, just joints and chasing sheep stoned. When Fabious returns home with the gorgeous virgin bride Belladonna (Deschanel) he rescued from the evil Lazar (Theroux), it seems like he has his happy ending. But at the wedding she is snatched back in a flurry of mean lightning-bolt-out-of-the-hands magic, and Fabious must save her. Thadeous is told by their exasperated father that if he doesn't help, he will be banished. So begins their journey of sexually deviant wizards, lusty wenches, and Minotaur humping.
What's The Deal: This movie comes across as The Princess Bride meets Porky's, and is pretty darn fun. Although it relies too heavily on the use of swear words for a laugh (which admittedly works sometimes), it's a sexually disconcerting comedy that turns a tired genre on its ear. I love McBride and Franco and will watch them in anything--it's a bonus that there are corsets and scary labyrinths. The cast all gets the tone of the film and is solid throughout--especially Natalie Portman as the disciplined, bloodthirsty warrior on a mission. Is there nothing she can't do? Seriously girl, save some talent for the rest of Hollywood.
The Only Way To Compare This To Monty Python: There's a British dude in it who makes me glad the internet exists so I can do easy media research. Now, this is not a side-splittingly funny comedy like the Flying Circus brought us, but it works in its own crass way. Rasmus Hardicker, however, makes it more interesting. He plays Courtney, the obedient straight man. He has a few moments here that make me hope for oodles of deleted scenes on the DVD. Hoorah for servants!
Imagine The Writer's Room: This movie has some delightful quotability and moments that had the whole audience shrieking with disbelief. I shudder to think of the environment which phrases like "adventurous slut" were born (and that isn't even the best one!). And even the plot itself--Belladonna's virginity is needed to create a dragon that Lazarus can control. Therefore the movie is chock full of chastity jokes, naughty bodice-ripping, and light S&M. I won't spoil what trophies are taken from their kills, either. I learned a lot about myself watching this movie --I am less into "As you wish," and more into "Ass you wish."