Earlier this week, Hillary reviewed Galavant which reminded me how great A Knight’s Tale was. So in all it’s early 2000s glory, I revisit this magnificent celebration of b-list supporting character actors and anachronistic music scores.
I have no idea how the movie happened. I want to sit down with a producer and screenwriter and casting director and everyone else I can get my hands on, and ask them how this all magically came to be. How did this movie that tried to be The Canterbury Tales get so lost that they slapped a teen heartthrob, some comic character actors, and a classic rock soundtrack on it and decided this works? The lines are cheesy and trite. The dialogue waffles between trying to adopt faux-period lingo and also using contemporary English. There is both too much plot and not enough plot.
And I was OBSESSED. First of all, it had Heath Ledger, who I definitely loved throughout middle school and high school because I knew he was better than the rest of the teen heartthrob crowd of the early 2000s (sorry Andrew Keegan, Shane West and co.). I had this movie’s poster on my wall, which looked really good in my pastel colored childhood bedroom. It was also about 3 feet wide by 5 feet tall because it was on sale at FYE. I also most definitely still have it and can tell you where it is in my parents’ house. (It’s now in a poster tube next to my dresser with a Lord of the Rings poster.)
Look at this intro:
Are we now drawing parallels to contemporary sports culture using standard arena anthems? Why do those horns sound like electric guitars? WHY ISN’T HEATH RIDING OUT TO JOCK JAMS?
I should also point out that this movie starts out with our hero assuming his lord knight’s role in a joust after the latter has pooped himself to death. That is quality, wholesome entertainment.
If you haven’t seen this movie and don’t want to time travel back to 2002 when it was on USA all the time, here’s the most perfect description of the movie via IMDb:
“After his master dies, a peasant squire, fueled by his desire for food and glory, creates a new identity for himself as a knight.”
I’m most often fueled by food, but that doesn’t really take me to knighthood and adventure. It usually takes me to the corner store for an egg and cheese on a roll.
You can expect fun hijinks set to your dad’s favorite music starring your childhood crushes, so it’s a movie for the whole family.
Naked Chaucer for you literary enthusiasts.
Badass lady blacksmith for all your P-Mag loving friends
Romantic team building letter writing!
A handsome villain that you shouldn’t root for, but you kind of want to anyway.
The David Bowie scene.
This song that they apparently rehearsed at some point but forgot to pass it on to Kate.
This sort of product placement/gag about branding and logos.
This climactic end scene where the director chose to put our hero at a crazy angle..
and make the villain float.
All this aside, the real stars of this movie are Jocelyn’s costumes which feel like a rough draft of costumes for Attack of the Clones. A subtle Padme, if you will.
Jocelyn’s Best Looks (aka, all of them)
This glorified extra who plays the princess (maybe?) to James Purefoy’s prince, may actually win the costume game.
A Knight’s Tale is now on Netflix Instant so you can watch and try to understand why Kate doesn’t know any of the words to the Ulrich von Lichtenstein chant. Is she drunk? Is she just charmingly confused? Who knows.