After reading the first 80 reviews I feel compelled to add my own 2 cents. We rented this and I have to agree that in the first few minutes I was revolted by the rock music, being a big fan of historical pieces set in the middle ages. Despite my initial feelings, I stuck it out. Too soon I found myself again annoyed by the styles worn by the Lady Jocelyn. Yuck! "What is going on", I wondered. But already I was finding myself involved in the story line and enjoying the humor, especially the interactions among the main characters. By the end I was willing to admit I'd been entertained and I was in love with all the characters with the possible exception of Jocelyn.
Then we watched all the extra bonus material and I was amazed at the thought and work that went into this movie. I just had to watch it again, having gained a new perspective on WHY things were done the way they were. What I discovered was an extremely entertaining romp.
For those of you who only saw the theatre version or are concerned about the rock and roll references in these reviews, try to see the director's point of view. Throughout history parents have strived to understand their youngsters. Or do we assume that the generations have always perfectly understood one another until it came to the 20th century? Language, music, clothes...isn't it likely that different generations differed as much in opinions then as now? If not then how did the culture ever evolve into something completely different? Notice that I have avoided the term "teens". Well, face it, back then the teens WERE adults. But there must still have been generational gaps. Did they say "wow" in historical times? No. But it's probable that there was a word that conveyed a similar meaning from a "slang" perspective. Language is not static, it is ever-changing. What we speak today would not even be understood by those who lived in England almost 700 years ago, so how can anyone complain about accents and language? Do they really think that anybody from England today would have been understood back then? Please.
Music....hello? Orchestral is better for periodic pieces why? As another reviewer mentioned...it's no more periodic than rock. The director was wanting to portray a fresh perspective and succeeded hugely. I'm sorry but when you're trying to convey a sense of excitement such as one feels at a football game (yes, that's the analogy used to try bringing jousting to a more modern perspective), chamber music isn't likely to get anyone in today's world fired-up.
And folks, that's a big part of what this whole movie is all about. Jousting was a major sporting event that was very exciting to the people of the time. How does one convey that excitement to a modern audience? The drama is easily done...but the intense emotion, the exhilaration we associate with a favorite sport? I feel that the director found an exciting new way to bring the medieval world alive for modern viewers.
As to Jocelyn. She's a bit shallow and the costumes are starting to bother me less. But her character (or lack thereof), allows for some very comedic lines that I think add to the overall fun of the movie.
I could go on but other reviewers have hit most of the other key points. The bottom line is: if you've seen it once...try it again...and watch the extra stuff. If you haven't, then get it...rent it first if you must but watch this movie. It is now one of our favorite movies and just the other night we watched it again with tremendous enjoyment and I wanted to see each and every single extra feature again. It's family-friendly and a romantic comedy that you won't mind at all having the teens and youngsters watch.
As one reviewer said, "suspend your belief from the start"...and then settle down to enjoy this story. It's fun, it still portrays a medieval "flavour", and the music ROCKS!
The show wastes no time whatsoever getting straight to the fun stuff. The above paragraph is the very first thing you'll see in the movie, and the very next is the movie's first joust set to Queen's We Will Rock You. The twist here isn't just a cheap soundtrack, but the fact that it's interwoven into the movie itself. The jousting audience is more of a football crowd, clapping along to the legendary beat and having fun. The herald trumpet players are even shown to belt a few notes, while the guards step along.
The best example I can think of this previously is Robin Hood: Men in Tights. A Knight's Tale takes it one step farther however by taking it all very seriously. By the end of the show you could almost believe it. Heralds that sound more like boxing announcers, armor with famous looking logos, ultra modern hair and outfits, and even an amazing dance sequence that blends classical with modern set to David Bowie. It's a highlight of the movie and worth watching just for that scene alone.
The best thing I can say about A Knight's Tale is how real it all is, despite it's theme. The modern aspects are blended into the events with real tact, the comedy is honestly funny, and the drama is in no way cheapened by the lightheartedness. It's not exactly Oscar material, but the show has a few honestly dramatic and heart touching moments that are go over extremely well to anyone but scoffing critics.
If you've ever had even a slight fascination with Knights and the joust, give this a watch. It's a great movie filled with all the fun and wit one could ask for. The Gen X attitude may seem like a gimmick, but if you're as tired as I am of lame actors speaking in extremely poor old English, this movie is for you.