Soitenly! Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. Most people (guys, and some women) love the Three Stooges. Larry, Moe, and Curly are the comedic slapstick kings that many experienced when they were younger and continue to enjoy to this day. Their wacky antics have been imitated by many over the decades but one thing holds true: The Stooges are as iconic and memorable today as they were when they first popped up nearly eight decades ago in 1934 (crazy, huh?).
So when word of a movie hit the Hollywood grapevine people started to speculate and wonder if it would work. Originally it was rumored that Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Penn would play the timeless trio and the Farrelly Brothers would write and direct. For one reason or another the three actors slowly dropped out, but the Farrelly Brothers soldiered on and birthed The Three Stooges.
To their credit, Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, and Chris Diamantopoulos do a valiant and high-spirited job bringing Larry, Moe, and Curly to life on the big screen for 21st century audiences. They have some very big comedic shoes to fill and there are some funny bits scattered throughout the movie. But even the original Stooges were doled out to audiences in short films and not features, and their antics here do get tiresome at points. Again, these three did a good job, but I felt as if they were let down by a lackluster script.
I like the Farrelly Brothers. They’ve given us solid comedies with Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin, and There’s Something About Mary. But there’s something about The Three Stooges that pales in comparison to their previous work. Maybe it’s the PG rating that stifled their ability to be totally zany like with their previous entries. Maybe it’s just that the Stooges don’t translate well to the 21st century. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.
I was impressed by the supporting cast who also put in valiant efforts throughout the film. Larry David, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Sofia Vergara, Craig Bierko, and Brian Doyle-Murray do decent work with the material they were given. I believe the attempt here was a noble one, but somewhere during the execution phase things got off track and this was the result.
Perhaps if this had been a period piece set in the original era of the Stooges instead of 2012 it would have worked better. There are some amusing moments, but the Stooges themselves come across as relics of a bygone era. An era where fans of the Stooges like seeing them.
So, if you’ve never seen a Three Stooges short and have no clue who they are will you like the movie more? If you see it with an audience will it be funnier? I did talk to someone who wasn’t knowledgeable of the Three Stooges and who did see it with an audience and he enjoyed it a lot. Maybe I’m just a purist. Maybe I think the Farrelly Brothers could have done better with this project.
Either way, I would like to point out what I felt were highlights of the film for me: Larry David as a power-mad nun; many of the slapstick sequences; the cast of Jersey Shore involved in slapstick silliness with the Stooges; Sofia Vergara’s boobs; and the chemistry between the three leads. It may not have added up to a solid comedy film in my book, but these elements did make it tolerable overall.
Special features on the DVD include:
The Three Stooges Mash-Up – A compilation of slapstick moments from the film
While I can’t give it a solid recommend, if you are looking for a movie that is purely mindless escapism, check out The Three Stooges.
The Three Stooges is available NOW on DVD and Blu-ray.
What’s your favorite Farrelly Brothers movie? What did you think of The Three Stooges? Leave a comment and let us know!