"The Three Stooges"
Release Date: April 13, 2012
Running Time: 95 minutes
I grew up on the humor of Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, and my personal favorites, The Marx Brothers. My exposure to the Three Stooges came late in my teens, and I did not take to their juvenile, “poke you in the eye” brand of slapstick comedy. Bearing this in mind, I found it difficult to warm to the Farrelly Brothers’ The Three Stooges, which is very much in the spirit of the chaotic shorts that featured Moe, Larry, and Curly way back when. Divided into three chapters, each roughly 25-30 minutes long, The Three Stooges follows the idiotic, hazardous and occasionally illegal attempts by this trio of knuckleheads to raise enough money to keep open the Catholic orphanage they still call home. As expected, this crusade involves countless moments of slapping, hitting, kicking and eye poking. It’s all very childish in execution, which of course is the point, but even at a rapid 92 minutes, the endless altercations become exhausting to endure before the Three Stooges cross paths with Sofia Vergara’s femme fatale. Also, no matter how they try, the Farrelly Brothers fail in their efforts to make the Three Stooges relevant. They still look and behave like it’s the 1940s, and the efforts to integrate them into the 21st century feels forced and unfunny. An “eye-Phone” joke? Really. Still, it’s hard not to walk out of this nyuk, nyuk, nyuk-fest not appreciative of the Farrelly Brothers’ love for the Three Stooges. It was evident as far back as Dumb and Dumber just how much the Three Stooges’ shaped and influence the Farrelly Brothers’ physically-driven gross-out comedies. Also, the Farrelly Brothers have done a superb job of casting Chris Diamantopoulous, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso and as, respectively, Moe, Larry, and Curly. They all do a masterful of capturing the speech patterns, mannerisms and comic interactions of the most famous stooges, Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard. While there is a fair of imitation to be found in the go-for-broke performances of Diamantopoulous, Hayes and Sasso, they win us over with the genuine affection they possess for their combative cretins.
Aired: April 12, 2012
Web site: http://movie.threestooges.com/