(For fans, others may wish to avoid)
Is there a normal male out there who was not a Three Stooges fan?
I admit to watching the zany antics of Moe, Curly and Larry at Saturday matinees when I was a kid and on my black and white TV when I should have been studying for those college exams. Joyce, like many females, hated the Stooges and wouldn't even go to the movie.
While I did tire of the nose-tweaking, eye gouging and sledge hammer hitting after a while, the movie did bring back some fond memories.
Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Curly (Will Sasso) and Larry (Sean Hayes) are the Three Stooges, looking and acting much like the originals. Rhode Island's own Farrelly Brothers have concocted a three-part movie that actually has a storyline interspersed among the constant chatter, puns, slaps, head-banging and flying through the air.
The movie is broken into three half-hour segments, the average length of the original shorts. The first is titled "More Orphan Than Not.” Three babies, made up to look like the stooges, are dumped at an orphanage run by nuns. They are then played by three actors at the age of 10, getting into all kinds of trouble. Rhode Islander Robert Capron plays Curly. Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson and Larry David play the nuns. David is particularly funny as the one nun who has a vendetta for the three troublemakers.
It is a cute setup for part two, "Bananas Split,” where the Stooges are grown men doing maintenance work at the orphanage, which sets the scenes for lots of physical humor involving ladders, church bells, sledgehammers, etc. Amazingly, after 25 years pass, the stooges are older and the nuns haven't aged a day.
“In No Moe Mr. Nice Guy,” the Stooges are on the street trying to raise $830,000 to save the orphanage. Their attempts to raise money are wacky and hysterical. There's a long scene in a hospital that will remind you of their outlandish humor and another at an anniversary party where they wreck everything and everybody in sight.
As always, the Three Stooges prevail and come out the heroes. To repeat, if you loved the originals, you will love the movie.
I didn't think Bobby and Peter Farrelly could make a PG movie, but they have, and the kids will love it. Wisely, the brothers appear on screen at the end to warn children to "not try this at home.” They show the rubber hammers, with sound effects added, and explain how the two fingers in the eyes actually hit the forehead.
If you sit through the long credits (I'm the only one who did), you'll get a few minutes of the trio dancing around and acting stupid. Don't bother.
Rated PG, with nothing to worry about except some perfectly timed slapstick humor.