Where to begin…Your Highness is a foul-mouthed fantasy/comedy set in medieval times starring Danny McBride, James Franco, and Natalie Portman. McBride and Franco play brothers in a royal family, the bumbling former of which is tasked with his first noble quest. It was directed by David Gordon Green (who directed the aforementioned McBride and Franco in the fun stoner comedy Pineapple Express) and was co-written by McBride and frequent collaborator Ben Best (HBO’s Eastbound and Down, which I consider to be one of the best shows on television). With this kind of talent involved you’d expect a smart comedy that parodies the fantasy genre, but the film takes its own rescue-the-princess storyline and special effects-heavy action sequences so seriously that the result is less Monty Python and the Holy Grail than it is In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.
Universal has been scrambling for weeks to find a suitable audience for this film, marketing it as everything from a self-deprecating action/comedy to a Natalie Portman vehicle (she’s really only in about half of the film). A series of commercials began airing on Sirius/XM radio earlier this week that end with the phrase “Coming to theaters this Friday, bitch”. This pretty much sums up the film’s humor, which relies on unexpected, anachronistic curse words of the variety that these guys are known for (again, see Eastbound and Down). The film’s title obviously hearkens back to the titular herb of Pineapple Express, but the drug use in Your Highness is surprisingly sparse and is seemingly included only to pacify the stoners in attendance. While most art-house types lament Green’s career-that-could-have-been (based upon his earlier indie-oriented works like George Washington and All the Real Girls), I’ve pretty much liked everything he’s been involved in and have decided to consider Your Highness a forgettable fluke. I don’t recommend you see it, but it’s so harmless and dull that it’s really up to you. And I know you’ll make the right decision.
Your Highness opens wide in Philly-area theaters today.
P.S. Do a Google image search for “Your Highness” and you’ll see the only real buzz that this film has generated…classy.