The biggest idiot trio of them all. The Three Stooges: The Movie incorporates the boinks, finger snaps and palm claps just like the original motion picture team. But what might have been funny in the 1930’s is no longer funny today. Maybe it needed to be in black & white, but I still don’t think so, I probably wouldn’t have found it funny if I had been around in the 1930’s either. Moe, Larry and Curly grow up at an orphanage way into adulthood, and the repetitive sight gags have them knocking nuns off ladders, onto the ground, and then plopping on them man-on-nun. They call upon themselves to raise $830,000 when the orphanage is in trouble, venturing into the city for the first time. Worst scene: a hospital nursery with dozens of newborns spraying themselves on the Stooges. Yukkkkkkk!
The movie is divided into three episodes just like a classic serial. They certainly don’t feel like they’re evenly split since the third episode runs forever. The same eye poking and bitch-slaps (did they use that term in the 1930’s?) gags are still repeated by the third episode. I’ll give the actors one validation: they have timing. Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso play Moe, Larry and Curly. Comparing old still photos, these guys look like the original trio. And Diamantopoulos has the distinction of having similar looks to Jim Carrey, who was once set to star in this.
As the foils, Sofia Vergara (TV’s “Modern Family”) and Craig Bierko (“Cinderella Man”) have a fair time sniveling as schemers tricking the Stooges to commit murder. The one chuckle I had in the movie was seeing the guys murder farm-raised salmon. I dunno, the movie just doesn’t have the same brilliant dialogue and situations of, say, “Dumb and Dumber.” It never occurred to me that “D&D” was that brilliant until now. Relativity is key, isn’t it? Ironically, this Stooges movie is a Farrelly Brothers effort.
I wouldn’t say the Farrelly Brothers are on the downslide, for I have no apologies that I liked their last effort “Hall Pass” (2011) with Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis. It’s just better I think if all Three Stooges iconography stayed buried in the casket. Rounding out the cast, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson and Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) play three of the nuns. Yes, Larry David. Snooki from “Jersey Shore” has an amusing cameo, thankfully we see her show skewered. Extra bonus half star for the public service announcement at the end with two hunks standing in for Peter and Bobby Farrelly.
92 Minutes. Rated PG.
FAMILY MOVIE / GOOFY / FAMILY MOVIE
Film Cousins: “Duck Soup” (1933); “Dumb & Dumber” (1994); “Bean: The Movie” (1997); “Mr. Magoo” (1997).