I’m a 100 percent certain the Catholic Church condemned this movie but it’s 2019 so nobody gives a crap, even the majority of practicing Catholics. Those denominations which hate or skewer Catholicism wouldn’t be fans neither, thanks to the nudity.
Hours is loosely based upon The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375 AD), one of many authors pointing out the hypocrisy within the Church.
When I was growing up in parochial school (aka Catholic grade school), you’re taught this false narrative about the clergy, especially in the Middle Ages which was the Church’s pinnacle on numerous levels. Priests, nuns and monks took up these selfless lives of charity, poverty, celibacy, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth as demonstrated in this featured convent. Meanwhile, you all learn the truth via high school or college-level History classes. The nuns here berate the laborer keeping the place operational to the point of him quitting, one nun named Alessandra is in the convent against her will (a common event) because her father can’t come up with her dowry and the location’s priest, Father Tommasso, has lost the tapestries the nuns make to provide operational income. His excuse was that he “accidentally” got drunk over the laborer quitting.
Enter Massetto! He has been caught by Lord Bruno, the nearby feudal lord) for having sex with his wife so Massetto is fleeing to avoid execution. Massetto encounters Father Tommasso, helps fix the priest’s broken wagon and offers to escort him back to the convent. Tommasso offers Massetto the job of groundskeeper under one major condition, pretend to be deaf and mute in order to survive the abusive nuns. Hiding behind the convent’s walls is a good way to escape since Bruno’s jurisdiction stops there.
Massetto gets more than he bargained for and being a young, virile, horn dog, his mute and deaf condition results in several nuns having sex with him. He realizes quickly, it isn’t all pleasant as a couple hold knives to his throat to get his cooperation.
Adultery isn’t the only “crime” happening within the convent. A couple nuns are practicing witchcraft in the nearby forest. Not really sure what their objective is. Plus, witchcraft as we know it would be codified decades later.
When Bishop Bartolomeo drops by for a surprise audit on the convent’s books, everything shady going on comes to a head.
In short, is this really funny? Not to everyone. History buffs like me, sure. Heck, I bet Tides of History would loosely endorse Hours as an example of criticisms raised against the 14th Century Church. It’s dark due to people not behaving as they’re expected to; I can understand what happens, religion can often put unrealistic expectations on everyone. Others I fear will be disappointed given the movie’s cast and anticipating something more on par with Portlandia or a Will Ferrell hilarity.