Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Danny McBride, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco
Whait. What? David Gordon Green, the edgy arty poster boy for reflective, solemn character studies that peel the veneer away from the American mythos — films such as George Washington and All the Real Girls and Undertow — is the one responsible for Your Highness? How does that even happen? I thought Green’s last foray into stoner comedy, the abysmal Pineapple Express, was a nightmare, but that was a masterpiece of wit and nuance compared to Your Highness.
There is no point to this unforgivable excuse for a comedy, except, obviously, for Danny McBride to make his buddies — director Green, co-star James Franco — chortle over pot jokes and at least pretend to get himself laid. For “screenwriter” McBride cast himself as the nominal hero here, who, as the film opens, is under threat of death for having had sex with another man’s wife.
Your Highness is an ugly amalgam of bullshit that indulges the notion of women as men’s property and the dubious proposition that McBride himself is irresistible.
Eventually, of course, gorgeous kick-ass Amazonian warrior chick Natalie Portman will totally want to screw him. In between, McBride’s idiot dork Thadeous, lesser prince of some pseudo-medieval realm, will go a-questing with his fabulous brother, heir-to-the-throne Fabious (Franco) in order to prevent Fabious’s bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), from getting raped by the wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux) as part of some sort of magical ceremony that doesn’t really seem to be about anything other than, you know, magically sanctioned rape.
If you think dwarves are by nature hilarious, “The Gay” is something to fear, “slut” is a fantastic compliment for a woman one finds attractive, kicks to the crotch are awesome and bodacious boobs are even more awesome, then Your Highness is the flick for you.
Oh, and you know how I said McBride is the screenwriter (co-credited with Ben Best)? Apparently, almost all of the dialogue is actually improvised — there was no script on the set. There was only McBride tossing out off-the-cuff yuks, the kind of brilliant material that wags can just invent on a dime without even having to think about it. Like how McBride slings a comeback to some gobbledygook verilys and forsooths and whatnot by rolling his eyes and moaning, “Oh, f---.” Sheer genius.
If only the rest of Your Highness were as droll!
Though McBride’s whine of “This quest sucks” is good, too. It’s funny because it’s true.