Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Three Stooges

That's The Way We Roll

The Farrelly brothers Bobby and Peter finally, after a string of comedies from Dumb and Dumber to Hall Pass, have a crack at one of the holy grails of American comedy The Three Stooges, given the remake fever going around, and yes, this is probably the only way that The Three Stooges film would be made, with slapstick humour and plenty of extreme physical comedy that the trio is known for. Like one of the lines in the movie, this film is really dim of wit, but captures so effortlessly the classical moments that define the Stooges' legacy.

There's really little story here, which revolved around the Stooges - Larry (Sean Hayes), Curly (Will Sasso) and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) - being brought up at an orphanage run by nuns - Jane Lynch as Mother Superior, Larry David as Sister Mary-Mengele (yes you read that right, as comic fodder of course), and an unbelievably slim Jennifer Hudson as Sister Rosemary - only for the Stooges' dangerous shenanigans to be bleeding the orphanage, forcing it to close in about 30 days time. Unless of course, someone comes up with about 800 over thousand dollars to keep it going. So the trio sets off into the real world to try and make some money, encountering the evil Lydia (Sofia Vergara) who's hatching a plan to bump off her rich husband.

That's the gist of the storyline, together with the theme about family and togetherness that surprisingly worked very well, dealing with Moe's botched attempt at getting adopted at age 10, which was funny as hell, yet moving at the same time. But let's not kid ourselves, we're definitely not here to watch The Three Stooges go all melodramatic. We're here to witness them go on a comedic romp where danger is nothing but an understatement when these guys are put into any scenario. Nothing is sacred, and with the Farrelly's input, the usual toilet humour get their air time as well.

But seriously (erm...), nothing works better than Moe, Larry and Curly going up against one another in Looney Tunes style, complete with rubberized equipment and sound effects - The Farrelly's even got to warn everyone not to follow their antics, for fear that we get caught up in comedic euphoria and start mimicking what we see on screen. Mimicry is what the actors here did best, together with the top notch costuming department who made Hayes, Sasso and Diamantopoulous look exactly like their legendary counterparts who propelled The Three Stooges to become household names. And kudos too to the actors in being just like the Stooges I remembered, voicing their roles, engaging in physical, slapstick comedy and probably earning a new generation of fans while at it too.

It's not without some flaws, such as the very obvious use of dummies for the more extreme stunts, but I suppose that's all part of the charm in finally making this film a reality, where at one point in time was stuck in development hell with some big names attached to star. The filmmakers went with relative unknowns, and it worked wonders in allowing the characters of Larry, Curly and Moe to shine again, without being unnecessarily upstaged by the names of well known comedians. I've grown up watching the black and white episodes of The Three Stooges on television before I head out to school each morning, and the Farrelly's even adopted presenting this film in three episodes of about half hour each, which I felt was a nice touch.

If you're in to laugh yourself silly at the theatres, then this modern version of The Three Stooges is your pick!


PrinceJ said...

The obvious use of dummies for the extreme shots is meant to duplicate the similar use of dummies in the Stooges Columbia shorts. I don't consider that a flaw.

Stefan S said...

Thanks for pointing that out PrinceJ... I guess what I wanted to convey didn't really come off too well in that statement of mine!

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