Just medieval pot and potty humor

James Franco (left), Zooey Deschanel, and Danny McBride in the half-baked stoner comedy, also starring Natalie Portman, that only occasionally rises to Monty Python quality.
James Franco (left), Zooey Deschanel, and Danny McBride in the half-baked stoner comedy, also starring Natalie Portman, that only occasionally rises to Monty Python quality.
Posted: April 08, 2011

Your Highness, a funny-in-spurts stoner comedy, stars Danny McBride and James Franco as the Goofus and Gallant of a medieval shire located somewhere in the vicinity of Nottingham and Tattooine.

Half-baked, both in plot and execution, this spoof's for adolescent boys who find Minotaur private parts amusing and Queen Amidala in a chastity belt sexy. (Yes, Natalie Portman is Isabel, babe-in-armor.)

Feckless Thadeous (McBride) and fearless Fabious (Franco) are princes, the heir and the spare. Fabious is the elder, the one with the heroic mane and the biceps and the storied quests. Thadeous is No. 2, a tub of flab hooked on the hookah, with no experience outside the palace gates.

The best that can be said of the script from McBride and Ben Best is that it leaves no stoner unturned.

Knights! Damsels-in-distress! Mythical figures and creatures! Wizards! The Holy Grail! Dungeons and dragons! And lots and lots of pot. Why didn't they call it Lord of the Bongs?

Under the helm of director David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls, Pineapple Express), Your Highness is lowbrow comedy that's intermittently funny. Not because of the nudge-nudge, wink-wink mugging of Green regulars McBride and Zooey Deschanel (the latter as Belladonna, Fabious' betrothed). But because Franco and Portman play their roles with genre earnestness and brio. The more straight-faced they are, the more Your Highness seems like an inspired Monty Python skit. Those moments, alas, are very few.

Mostly, the film is nonstop penis jokes and masturbation references. Likewise, it is an inventory of the preoccupations of 13-year-old boys. By which I mean: loss of virginity, nekkid women of Amazonian proportions who excite fear and desire, castration anxiety, and fanboy references to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. There are also many would-be jokes that skirt the boundary between the homosocial and the homophobic (Fabious is supremely comfortable with man-on-man kissing, Thadeous is freaked).

Unless you're a 13-year-old boy (and this is an R-rated film), kiss this one off.


Contact movie critic Carrie Rickey

at 215-854-5402 or crickey@phillynews.com.

Read her blog, "Flickgrrl," at http://www.philly.com/flickgrrl/.

 

Half-baked, both in plot and execution, this spoof's for adolescent boys who find Minotaur private parts amusing and Queen Amidala in a chastity belt sexy.

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