There was a time when remaking and updating people was something that only The Onion reported on. However, the Farrelly Brothers are attempting exactly that with this update to the now classic Three Stooges shorts from the 30’s. Does this film bring the comedy of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Jerome Howard, better known as Curly, back from time immemorial?
This film is divided into three “shorts” that comprise a larger narrative, with Chris Diamantopolous as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly.
The first short explores their childhood mishaps and attempts at adoption, ending with the inciting incident, the orphanage at risk of closure unless they get enough money to pay the bills. The second and third shorts follow the Stooges’ efforts to raise the money in the big city. Hijinks and hilarity to follow.
This is another one of those films that surprised me, as I had really no idea what I was getting into. The first thing I noticed was how the entire first act was filled with homages and send-ups to the original shorts, complete with the “Stooge salutes” and sound-effects-filled slapstick that the fans of the Stooges know and love.
One thing I do have to say about the film is that it falls prey to the annoying pattern of the “dramatic” second act. However, this film manages to offset it enough so that it doesn’t go completely down the Adam Sandler route.
Overall, I found myself enjoying this film, as it appealed not only to the regular funny bone, but also to the nostalgia that fans have for the Stooges. Just watching Moe beat up the cast of Jersey Shore is almost worth the ticket price.
If you’re someone like me who has a great deal of nostalgia attached to The Three Stooges, or if you’re looking for a more timeless kind of humor, then this is a film definitely worth watching.
On my personal scale, I give The Three Stooges a 3.5 out of 5.
If you’re worried that your children will imitate the violent antics seen in the film, don’t be. There’s a minute-long disclaimer directed toward children just before the end credits.