Movie review: ‘The Three Stooges’ – slightly better than a poke in the eye
Since Moe, Larry and Curly made their bones in their 1930s and ’40s heyday with some 200 comedy short subjects for Columbia Pictures, a short review of the Farrelly Brothers’ chaotic but affectionate “The Three Stooges” seems fitting.
So here are some highlights and lowlights from the movie that, depending on your point of view, is either a sweet homage to those Poobahs of the Eye Poke or a clumsy recycling of their archaic comic anarchy or a juvenile mimicry of crude their cultural imprint.
Lords of Lowbrow: Brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly (“Dumb and Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary”) have cut their moviemaking careers from a common cloth with the original Stooges, larding most of their movies with rough slapstick and roaring political incorrectness, plus ample doses of bathroom humor and sappy sentimentalism. So this seems a perfect pairing of filmmakers and subject matter.
Dunderheaded Doppelgangers: Although the Farrellys flirted with big stars for the leads (Russell Crowe, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Jim Carrey and Paul Giamatti were rumored), the three relative unknowns they settled on are very good. Chris Diamantopoulos, with his bowl haircut is a fine scowling Moe (“whatsthatmattawithyou”), Sean Hayes, topped with Larry’s balding frizzcut, lends some surprising depth to the most underrated Stooge, and bald-pated Will Sasso captures the fluttery mannerisms and frantic facial contortions of manchild Curly (“woo-woo-woo”) with both affection and precision.
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