Wednesday, January 23, 2013
On THE THREE STOOGES (2012)
I don't mean this to be sexist, but here goes: It's usually difficult for us men to make women in our lives watch and appreciate The Three Stooges. Most women would rather let Stevie Wonder do their hair. Guys, getting a woman to watch The Three Stooges with you is like a woman wanting you to watch a Lifetime TV movie on Super Bowl Sunday. I admit it. Those comedy shorts made me laugh when I was a youngster and watched them on TV. (My sister usually didn't watch them with me.) A couple of years ago, I rented a DVD of the restored, remastered shorts featuring that trio and laughed again. I especially loved the original trio in its early 1930s years for Columbia Pictures.
Even though I have enjoyed Moe, Larry and Curly, I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in seeing The Three Stooges, written and directed by the Farrelly Brothers. That's the team that gave us There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and the weird-yet-sweet Stuck On You starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear as conjoined twins. Stuck On You also has fabulous cameos by Cher and Meryl Streep. I like the Farrelly Brothers, but I started to feel that they were an acquired taste you outgrow. Like The Three Stooges. I got that feeling because of seeing them do local and network TV interviews in New York promoting previous films. I noticed that they seemed to have a planned "outrageous" behavior, probably to make them seem edgy. For no good reason, they worked the term "rat bastard" into interviews as if they were trying to prank local live newscasts. That can be cool on MTV but, for news folks, that's annoying. I emceed a celebrity awards luncheon one year. Meryl Streep attended. So did the Farrelly Brothers. They did that sort of "hipper-than-you" frat boy routine again when they took to the microphone. The thing is -- they're smart filmmakers and they're beyond college age. They didn't need to do that. I heard them do radio interviews for The Three Stooges. How refreshing! They sounded like mature, likable, experienced filmmakers with good stories to share. THEN...I started to hear reviews for the movie. Another surprise. They were good. I expected to hear that it was basically Dumb, Dumb and Dumber. No. KPCC FM news radio out of Southern California has a film review hour every Friday. One critic praised it as the kind of comedy film that could have been made had Columbia Pictures "ever spent more than a nickel" making its Three Stooges productions.
Sean Hayes, formerly "Jack" on Will & Grace, plays wire-haired Larry. Chris Diamantopoulos, "Julian" on NBC's Up All Night, plays bossy Moe. Will Sasso, forrmerly a member of the MADtv sketch comedy show, plays Curly.