A Knight’s Tale

Breezy romantic comedy/adventure set in Medieval Europe about a young peasant (Heath Ledger) who, aspiring to be a knight, pretends that he is of noble birth so that he can compete in royal jousting tournaments. Naturally, he's good at what he does, falls in love with a hot babe, and has his goofy but well-meaning buddies to back him up when things get bad.

Thinking it was going to be uninspired pap, I waited until it hit the $3 theatre before I saw it, but was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it was. Sure, it's formulaic, but that's forgivable when you have a smart script (Helgeland served triple duty as director, writer, and producer), a fine cast of fresh faces (particularly Paul Bettany as a rakish Geoffrey Chaucer), and a confident approach. The movie's gimmick is that, along with its Medieval score (courtesy of ubiquitous composer Carter Burwell), it makes whimsical use of several '70s rock songs – sort of like a sketch for Moulin Rouge! – and it works.

There is such a thing as a Good Hollywood Movie, and A Knight's Tale is it. Watch it with your family after dinner or enjoy it on a "stay at home" date. Either way, everybody will have a good time.