Directed by: David Gordon Green
Premise: A parody of fantasy movies. A heroic prince (James Franco) quests to rescue his bride-to-be (Zooey Deschanel) while his dim-witted brother (Danny McBride) tags along.
What Works: Your Highness is intended as a stoner comedy so perhaps viewers under the influence will find something redeeming about it.
What Doesn’t: Your Highness has an impressive cast that includes Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Zooey Deschanel. That star power makes Your Highness a truly bewildering debacle. The film is intended to parody the fantasy genre but it does not appear as though anyone involved with Your Highness actually bothered to watch any of these films. There is nothing in it that is satirical or ironic or even funny. There is an attempt to do something interesting with the dialogue, as the characters speak in a formal syntax characteristic of sword and shield films but then drop curse words in every other sentence. But jokes based on the presence of foul language alone lost their comedic potential about twenty years ago and when the characters drop an f-bomb it has a sad, self-conscious desperation about it. The film is a loser, the performers involved seem to know it, and it shows in their performances. Cast as the lesser of the two brothers, Danny McBride plays the role in his usual prideful moron routine. In other roles, such as the television program Eastbound and Down, McBride manages to balance the crudeness and idiocy of his characters with redeeming moments of goodness. But in Your Highness McBride is obnoxious from beginning to end and he drags the movie down with him. The other cast members are similarly awful; James Franco and Natalie Portman sleep walk through their roles, presumably dreaming of the paychecks that they would net for being in this film, and Zooey Deschanel appears in role that is essentially a human prop.
Bottom Line: Your Highness is a terrible film. Despite some high profile stars, it is no better than the many low rent parody films by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer like Date Movie, Epic Movie, and Disaster Movie.
Episode: #336 (April 24, 2011)