A study in context. Writer-director Jeff Baena adapted this story of three wayward nuns and the wayward world they inhabit from the Italian writer Bocaccio’s 14th-century collection The Decameron. And in medieval Europe, the story’s randy ribaldry among irreligious religious would be obviously (and highly) comedic. Today, it requires the stainless-steel deadpan of Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and John C. Reilly (among others) to conjure up a world where such piety is possible enough to pillory. They do an impressive job, but not impressive enough to curtail the question of why they’re doing it. To prove that people have always liked sex, even people who promise not to have it? Golly. Still, there’s something to be said for a movie that features a discussion of the types of sodomy during a Catholic confession. (2017) — Matthew Lickona
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