A Knight's Tale (2001)
Heath Ledger: William Thackery
Rufus Sewell: Count Adhemar
Shannyn Sossamon: Jocelyn
Paul Bettany: Geoffrey Chaucer
Laura Fraser: Kate
Mark Addy: Roland
Alan Tudyk: Wat
Written and Directed by: Brian Hegeland
If you've never seen A Knight's Tale, then you're in for a treat. Irreverent, raucous, and brimming with wonderful performances, this tale of a peasant squire trying to earn a name for himself in the world of medieval jousting is helluva good time.
But, is it a Valentine movie?
Any movie can be a Valentine movie if you're with your special someone and you're watching something you both enjoy. A Knight's Tale may not seem like an obvious candidate but this movie has elements you can both enjoy. My wife loves stories about kings and dragons and swords and wizards. Game of Thrones is one of her favorite shows and we recently saw The Boy Who Would Be King. So, A Knight's Tale is right in her wheelhouse. I like comedy and movies willing to poke some fun. One thing A Knight's Tale does so well is spoof sports movies by masking it all in a medieval setting. The movie is worth a watch just to see Paul Bettany's introductions of Ledger's William Thackery. "Let's get ready to rumble!" has never been the same for since seeing A Knight's Tale.
But, there's romance, too. William is quite smitten with the lovely Jocelyn, who is also the object of affection of William's arch jousting rival Count Adhemar (a nice turn by Rufus Sewell). William wants to win Jocelyn's heart. You can probably figure out how this all ends because that's part of the appeal of a film like this. I admit, though, it would've been cool to see Jocelyn reject both men and become a champion jouster on her own.
Here's my recommendation: watch A Knight's Tale in a double feature with Ever After. When both films are done, you can spice up the action in the bedroom by role-playing a knight coming to save Cinderella. She rejects this patriarchal trope and challenges you to a joust. Godspeed, good knight. It might help to hire a Shakespearan actor to serve as a herald and introduce you both.