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Your Highness

Year: 2011
Studio: Universal
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: Danny McBride
Cast: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, Charles Dance, Toby Jones, Justin Theroux, Damian Lewis

I haven't heard many people make the connection but to my mind there's a direct line through the movie universe between The Princess Bride and this movie. I mean, there haven't been any comedies set in a swords and sandals/fantasy genre since, unless you count the unintentional ones (Kull the Conqueror et al)

Having said that it's like The Princess Bride rewritten by a 12 year old, with all the knob gags, hot chicks and arbitrary/pointless profanity that has little to do with humour.

James Franco and Danny McBride are brothers in a medieval kingdom somewhere sent on a quest to rescue the former's bride to be from an evil wizard. The gag is that McBride's Prince Thaddeus is a layabout, a stoner and a coward where his brother Fabius is brave, strong and handsome – everything Thaddeus isn't.

After their own entourage betrays them because the men are in cahoots with the wizard, they come across a fearsome but hot warrior woman (Portman, still enjoying a renaissance in mainstream comic roles) who joins them.

It's awash with genitalia gags and scattergun profanity and even though only some gags are funny in themselves most of the laughs come from the shock value. It could have been much funnier with more passes over the script, maybe by William Goldman himself.

However, I also got the feeling it was supposed to be fast and loose because they thought the lack of class would be the charm. Instead it just shows the holes and even though there are some genuine laughs they're mostly telegraphed and pretty cheap.

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