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Author: JoAnne Hyde
April 8, 2011
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SYNOPSIS: Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. Danny McBride and James Franco team up for an epic comedy adventure set in a fantastical world.

I have a theory and a prediction about Your Highness, the new film from Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green. The film stars James Franco and Natalie Portman, along with Danny McBride who also had a hand in the screenplay. Here’s my theory. Facing the emotionally demanding and intense roles they had in 127 Hours and Black Swan, Franco and Portman must have found this little bit of silliness therapeutic. No need to critique the acting in Your Highness; there isn’t any going on. No worries about whether or not you did your own dancing or whether or not you were stoned during the Oscars, the fans who go to see Your Highness will not care. In fact, they will view being stoned as a plus. Now for my prediction: I’m guessing that numerous reviewers will refer to this film as “Your Lowness” because it is essentially one, long dirty joke. That being said, there is a fan base for this genre of film. Unfortunately, most of them won’t be able to get in unless they are accompanied by an adult.

The film spoofs just about every fantasy ever filmed, but most obviously the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It has the soaring, inspirational musical score and the vast, sweeping landscapes which make the story just that much more ridiculous. James Franco plays Prince Fabious, the daring and favored son of King Tallious (Charles Dance). He’s just returned from a quest with his newly-betrothed and virginal damsel, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel). She had been held captive in the castle tower of the evil warlock Leezar (Justin Theroux) where he planned to impregnate her with a demonic dragon when the two moons (don’t ask) converge. Fabious’s slacker brother, Prince Thadeous, as portrayed by Danny McBride, is a loser living in the shadow of his courageous, handsome, and popular brother. When Leezar crashes the engagement party and kidnaps Belladonna, King Tallious commands that Thadeous will accompany his brother on the quest to get her back. Along the way, they meet fierce, female warrior Isabel (Natalie Portman) who first subverts their quest, but later joins them to help. Shenanigans ensue.

At least this film does not even pretend to be serious in any way. Parody would be a much too sophisticated word to describe its humor, which is broad, bawdy, shtick and slapstick. Speaking of slapping and sticks, the over-used trend of the year, jerk-off jokes, is prevalent. If you’re in high school or maybe a party-hard college type, you’ll love this film. Otherwise, you might want to wait for the DVD.

GRADE: D


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JoAnne Hyde Likes film.
She likes to write.
So she combines those two loves by reviewing films for BOF

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