I’m not quite sure what Bobby and Peter Farrelly had in mind when they decided to reboot The Three Stooges, but I’m pretty sure the final product wasn’t it. Now, I’m not a Stooges fan, I’ve seen the occasional short but wouldn’t call myself a fan. The problem is The Three Stooges plays like a Friedberg/Seltzer parody movie of the Stooges complete with pop-culture references that don’t even deserve being in this movie. If you’re a fan of fart humor and repetitive slapstick with no joke then you’ll find something to enjoy about this film. If you’re looking for a good movie…try ANYTHING else.
Moe, Larry, and Curly (Chris Diamantopoulous, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso) are orphans trying to save their orphanage. In order to get the money they’re mixed up in a murder plot, find themselves on the Jersey Shore, and nearly kill some nuns.
The real-life story behind the Stooges is a fascinating one worthy of a prestigious biopic, not this dreck. The idea of creating three shorts and making one overarching story is a great way to tell the story. The shorts didn’t have any set narrative and in making three individual stories the need for logic isn’t necessary as the main narrative is so thin: get the money for the orphanage. The three actors playing the Stooges are competent and there isn’t much need for acting when you’re making goofy faces and poking each other in the eyes, I guess they could have gotten worse actors.
Oh what am I saying this movie is terrible! If this didn’t have the Farrellys and the Stooges name it would have gone direct to DVD. None of the jokes are funny unless you like bathroom humor and characters falling on each other for a solid minute. Slapstick is something that has to be used in moderation or else the audience gets used to the joke and becomes desensitized. There’s a scene where the Stooges are constantly falling on Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David) that goes on forever to the point that you’re just asking “when are they going to stop.” Speaking of Sister Mary-Mengele…who thinks it’s hilarious to name nuns after Nazi Holocaust doctors? Don’t raise your hands all at once. There’s additional issues like a plot point about Moe being on The Jersey Shore which allows for Snooki and her friends to show up. This felt the most like one of those parody movies as the Stooges have no business being next to the Jersey Shore kids. The movie’s main problem seems to lie in the fact that the Stooges and their brand of humor just doesn’t work in our time. The film should have been a period piece in order to work because sticking the Stooges next to Snooki makes them even more passé.
So if you enjoy three men making gross faces and hitting each other, then Stooges it is. The problem is the film doesn’t take itself seriously, and makes the characters look like men out of touch with reality. There were different ways to approach this material but instead the Farrellys just shoehorned the Stooges into our reality and showed they’re not funny anymore. A sad end to the first trio of comedy.