Movie Review: The Three Stooges (Video)

The Farrelly Brothers finally get to bring their long awaited pet project to the silver screen honoring the legendary trio.

FORT WORTH, Tx., April 17, 2012 — The Farrelly Brothers have done it again. If you are a fan of their movies, a fan of the original Three Stooges or just plain like slap-stick comedy with goofiness thrown in for good measure, this comedy is for you.

The original Three Stooges: Larry Fine, Curly Howard and Moe Howard

At first I wasn’t sure it would be worth the money and effort to see. In my humble opinion Hollywood usually doesn’t do to well when it comes to re-makes. Thankfully my fears were unfounded.

I laughed throughout most of the movie. The last time this happened was when I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding in the theater. By the time The Three Stooges was over my cheeks hurt from laughing.

If Moe, Larry and Curly were alive today I believe they would have made this film.

Each of the Stooges, Larry (Sean Hayes from Will and Grace), Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos of “24”) and Curly (MADtv’s Will Sasso) each played their character to a “T.”

Sean’s Larry is the perfect “middle guy” to Moe’s straight man and Curly’s comic foil. Chris Diamantopoulos sounds and makes faces almost exactly like the real Moe. Will Sasso may not be the real Curly but he’s darn sure close—and that’s no easy feat. The guys also fully nailed down the Stooges body language and slap-stick as if they practiced, practiced, practiced. And they probably did.

Modern Stooges: Sean Hayes(Larry,) Chris Diamantopoulos(Moe,) and Will Sasso(Curly) out of costume

 

The wonderful supporting cast includes Jane Lynch who usually plays imperturbable, dry witted characters—as the compassionate Mother Superior. Ms. Lynch is from the same Chicago suburb I’m from, Dolton. We also went to the same high school, Thornridge.

Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld) is Sister Mary-Mengele the inimical counterpart to Jane Lynch’s Mother Superior and he does a superb job of it too. The Sister has it in for the boys, namely because she is often the victim of their shenanigans.

Jennifer Hudson, another Chicago native is Sister Rosemary. She, along with Kate Upton’s Sister Bernice can’t wait to see the rambunctious trio leave the home but have second thoughts when the day finally arrives. The audience also gets to hear Ms. Hudson’s beautiful singing voice, if just for a few stanzas of the hymn “This Little Light of Mine.”

The lovely Sofia Vergara is the femme fatale who is behind the plot of the story (that’s as much of a spoiler as I’ll give.) She, along with the attractive female cast of Jersey Shore are not above getting “slap-sticked” in the movie; you’ve got to admire beautiful women who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Baby Stooges

The story starts out at a Catholic orphanage when someone throws a canvas bag out of a moving car onto the front steps of the home. In the bundle are baby versions of Moe, Larry and Curly. The good Sisters are delighted with the babes—for a while.

The story is of the “fish out of water” genre but isn’t stale. Moe, Larry and Curly set out to raise money to save the orphanage, but have to go out into the world for the first time to do it. It made me think of the similar plot of The Blues Brothers (1980) movie starring Dan Ayckroyd and John Belushi. I don’t know if it’s a nod to them or not but it works.

And speaking of nods, there are at least two nods to the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. The first is when, after being victim to one too many antics of the Stooges, Sister Mary-Mengele says she’s leaving. When asked where she’ll go she replies that her brother is in the Alaskan crab fishing business.

Soon the trio is about to set out on their journey astride a bicycle built for three (if that makes sense.) The salute comes when Moe throws a hook that latches onto a passing truck. If you watch Deadliest Catch you’ll see the deckhands throw the same kind of hook in the sea to bring up the pots that are hopefully filled with crabs.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly have been trying to get the Stooges project on the silver screen for over a decade. Wikipedia states,

“The Farrellys said that they were not going to do a biopic or remake, but instead new. Three Stooges episodes set in the present day. The film will be divided into three segments with a stand-alone story, each being 27 minutes long.The Farrelly’s aimed to receive a PG (Parental Guidance) rating from the MPAA, while still incorporating physical comedy. The Farrellys have also said it would have ‘non-stop slapping, more in the tone of Dumb and Dumber than we’ve done. Our goal is 85 minutes of laughs in a film that will be very respectful of who the Stooges were. It’s by far the riskiest project we’ve ever done, without question, but it is also the one closest to our hearts.’”

The movie earned mixed reviews from critics. The Catholic League slammed the film for its portrayal of nuns. While I certainly understand and don’t like Hollywood’s treatment of Christianity, I didn’t find the film offensive at all. Perhaps the nun in a sexy bathing suit was a bit over-the-top but it didn’t seem to me that the Farelly Brothers were making fun of nuns; the entire scene was unexpected. Comedy is all about the unexpected.

Slapstick comedy

The film did however bring back memories of comedies full of the hilarious absurdity like two of my favorites Airplane! (1980) and Top Secret! (1984.) The latter starred a very young Val Kilmer.

The Farrellys made a huge effort to come up with a Three Stooges movie that was fresh and did it in spades. The project required not only talent and hard work, but cleverness as well. It’s obvious that they used their brains to create this film. In this day and age of the lame re-make and non-original ideas coming out of Hollywood, that is quite refreshing. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

 

20th Century Fox released “The Three Stooges.” The film’s slapstick action violence and some rude and suggestive humor including language earned it a PG rating. The film’s running time is 91 minutes.

 

****

Read more of Claire’s work at Feed The Mind, Nourish The Soul in the Communities at The Washington Times, her blog Sustenance For The Mind, and the writing group she belongs to at Greater Fort Worth Writers Group.

 

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This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Claire Hickey

Claire has held a Texas Cosmetology License, Certification in Surgical Technology and has decorated cakes professionally. She believes that life is a banquet to be experienced and wants to learn and do as much as possible while she’s here. This Stay @ Home Mom has always loved to write and thanks to the Communities @ The Washington Times has got her chance. Her curiosity and writing lead her to create her column based on “garbage in garbage out” theory to provide interesting and thought provoking pieces that enrich her readers. A proud member and Treasurer for the Greater Fort Worth Writer’s Group she is currently working on her first novel.  

 

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