• Mon, Apr 11 2011

What’s the Deal with Movies Like ‘Your Highness’–Medieval Settings Plus Modern Humor/References?

Anachronisms Galore

Who can forget when Shrek and Donkey ride up to Far, Far Away (which has its own Hollywood sign) and are treated to a cracked-out parody of the Disneyland visitors’ center? So much of the movie, made by Jeffrey Katzenberg after he was booted from Disney, mocks Hollywood and the Mouse House. But Mel BrooksMen in Tights has it beat, with a braille stone Playboy, references to Brooks’ film Blazing Saddles, and someone commenting that Robin Hood’s disguise makes him look like Mark Twain.

Song-and-Dance Numbers

I don’t know what it is about these times that lend themselves so well to music, but almost every movie has an obligatory song number. Nevermind that the characters don’t sing for the rest of the movie, but living in this era means that music has to accompany at least one part of your story, whether it’s celebratory or defeated. The possibilities are limitless. It can be an ironic theme song…

…or the inexplicable (and genius) use of David Bowie‘s “Golden Years” in A Knight’s Tale. (The combination of Heath Ledger‘s random jump, then moves from Grease and my eighth grade dance, make this so great.)

…or the resurrection of an ’80s hit that fits perfectly with the climactic rescue scene:

If you haven’t seen the other movies I mentioned, choose them over Your Highness. But if you’re looking to add another medieval comedy to your repertoire, then seeing this wouldn’t hurt.

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