movies: A feast of family fun on the big screen...................
a quarter-century in development at four different studios, you’d think someone would have figured out how to make a funny movie about The Three Stooges. After all, Moe, Larry and Curly starred in dozens of hilarious, classic theatrical shorts between 1934 and Curly’s retirement in 1946. While Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn and Jim Carrey nearly starred in The Three Stooges for directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly a few years ago, the three actors who ended up playing the zany comics for the filmmaker brothers – Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso – offer fairly precise physical and vocal imitations of Moe, Larry and Curly. As the Stooges, these new wiseguys manage to mimic the manic comic trio’s antics, but even a short Curly Shuffle is more entertaining. They execute precise re-creations of their predecessors’ violent routines – pokes in the eyes and hammers on the head included (with sound effects) – but to what end? The Three Stooges borrows the premise of The Blues Brothers and turns these quintessential Jewish characters into the bumbling would-be saviours of the Catholic orphanage where they were raised. Larry David plays Sister Mary Mengele, the Stooges’ nemesis at the orphanage while Jane Lynch is wasted in a straight role as the mother superior. Things don’t get much better when the three sheltered maniacs set out into a real world they’re hardly equipped for. When they crash a high-society party and create chaos, it only serves to remind Stooges-loving baby boomers how much more effectively the originals did this sort of thing.
stars (clockwise from top left) Chris Diamantopoulos (Moe) Sean Hayes (Larry) and Will Sasso (Curly).