The Three Stooges Apr 22, 2012 19:22:41 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Apr 22, 2012 19:22:41 GMT -5
Curly, Moe, and Larry. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
Very few people will disagree with me when I say "The Three Stooges" comedy troupe was one of the funniest gangs of the twentieth century. They revolutionized comedy, pioneered the sub-genre of slapstick along with The Marx Brothers and Abbott and Costello with their no-limits, anarchic style of comedy, and became a household name in no time. The trio would come to produce one-hundred and ninety shorts for Columbia Pictures, but became restrained overtime after Curly Howard's departure. The replacements became gradually inferior and the skits lost their charm once Shemp Howard, Curly's replacement, left.
The big question in the 2000's decade was simple; will there be another movie focusing on The Three Stooges? You may recall a number of silly motion pictures involving the Stooges and them meeting a number of asinine characters such as Hercules and Snow White. That was about as far as some thought we'd get. In 2000, the idea for a brand new Stooges picture was circulating, and Columbia Pictures was beginning to become more and more interested after many years of neglect. For years, a number of online articles stated people like Andy Samberg, Johnny Knoxville, and Paul Giamatti were attached to the project. At one point, the Stooges were billed as Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Penn. My response to all the news? "Just leave it alone" I said. There was no reason a film had to be made.
My plea was ignored. The Farrelly Brothers have succeeded in making a film that was thought to be stuck in development hell till the end of time. The Three Stooges film is a lame, yet somewhat inspired retelling of the comedy troupe, this time blatantly modernized to fit our current society. Many may not know what I'm talking about when I say this, but I feel the Stooges are an outdated group. I love their original work and find them to be unique and sometimes devilishly funny (even if breaks are required), but compared to the humor we have now, it seems as if they don't transfer to the new world so well. They have grown old and so have we. During the transportation of the Stooges from the 1930's to the 2000's, it seems the humor, the wit, and the constructed simplicity have all been traded in for juvenile, tired sketches from recycled comedy bins.
The story involves the Stooges, all nicely cast with Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly so the presence of big name actors isn't off-putting, desperately trying to save their childhood orphanage from being closed. They must come up with $830,000 to pay off the orphanage's debt and make sure parent-less children are kept in a safe haven. The nuns, who hate the Stooges with an undying passion, believe their optimism is foolish and that their efforts will fail. One of them is played by Larry David in drag. Yes, Curb You Enthusiasm's Larry David, who gets some of the biggest laugh in the picture. What was that about water weasels?
The film involves their efforts and pathetic failings to try and garner the hefty amount of money. My feels during the film spanned a grandscale. I first approached the picture with dread, pursued on with a moderately tolerable attitude, grew weary, grew wearier, and finally accepted the fact it couldn't be done. Not in this movie. Things are too crass, juvenile, and overblown. Take the scene in the hospital for example. It was not amusing, enjoyable, or remotely funny. Just sad and stretched out for far passed its recommended lifespan.
Including the cast of the reality show Jersey Shore was also an enormous miscalculation. I felt the screen shook like a magic eight ball and people from two totally different generations appeared. The inclusion of the show's characters are justified by two shallow reasons; one, for cheap jokes and tireless stabs (let me remind people that jokes about Justin Bieber, Jersey Shore, and vampires have run their course for far too long. It isn't funny anymore), and two, for an artificial "no way" moment.
Perhaps this is the best film on the Stooges that can be made in this day and age. The audience I was with, comprised of not one woman, seemed to be roaring in laughter and were anxiously anticipating the next outrageous setup to commence. I was not, but to each their own. Humor is extremely subjective, and I can see skeptics walking into The Three Stooges and walking out presently surprised. It wasn't until the end it dawned on me the Farrelly Brothers actually directed the film. Their film work has been comprised of winners like Fever Pitch and Hall Pass, and some moderately effective works of entertainment like Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary. I'm unsure of where to place The Three Stooges, since it needs an entirely new category. A failed impersonation would be a good one, almost like what I say when the Chicago Bears are performing badly; it's like the equipment managers put on the jerseys and said "c'mon guys, we can do it!"
Starring: Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Jane Lynch, and Larry David. Directed by: The Farrelly Brothers.
NOTE: The film concludes with Bobby and Peter Farrelly giving us a PSA, stating that all the "weaponry" used in the film were props made of flimsy rubber, and demonstrated the act of the "eye poke," where they poke the eyebrows and not the actual pupils. All I could think of while watching the concise skit was, "how many times did the Stooges actually slip while trying to perform the eye poke?"