The Farrelly Brothers
If you like the Three Stooges, it’s hard to completely hate this movie. This is just a case of people who clearly love the property wanting to bring a faithful tribute to a new audience. It feels surprisingly authentic, from the opening credits to the painfully accurate slapstick routines. In fact, though it’s set in current times, it doesn’t even seem that modernized (aside from a few pop culture exceptions). Most of the humor works as an homage to the original jokesters and I can see kids really loving all the physical stuff, though there are some groanworthy moments. (Mostly the peeing baby fight.) And while it was smart to split the movie in to three half-hour “episodes,” at 90 minutes the movie still feels long.
Most of the credit for whatever works goes to the title cast—Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso—who do an extremely commendable job of filling Moe, Larry and Curly’s big shoes. Though they’re not spitting images of their counterparts, they do embody the spirit, chemistry and more importantly the amazing comedic timing of the original Stooges. (No doubt much better than Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn and Jim Carrey would’ve done.) They’re helped with a decent, albeit random supporting cast that includes Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Upton and Larry David (?) as nuns and “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara as a curvy femme fatale. And then there’s the “Jersey Shore” cast. Their inclusion seems like a cheap, awful idea, but it was actually nice seeing the reality “stars” get painfully tortured Stooge-style.
All that said, THE THREE STOOGES still feels incredibly unnecessary. Even if the result is as good as it possibly could be, I’m not sure if it’s worth watching. Why watch even a faithful tribute to something when you can just watch the original? I suppose if your kids are automatically turned off by old movies or black and white, this could be a good stepping stone. It’s got its heart in the right place, but that only takes you so far.
A History of the Three Stooges (10:37): The directors give an intro to the comic trio, explain what they mean to them personally and why they wanted to bring them to a new generation. A good primer, but would’ve loved a more in depth doc on Stooges.
Behind the Scenes of THE THREE STOOGES (5:10): Interviews with cast and crew, along with BTS footage from the set.
THE THREE STOOGES Sound Effects (4:08): You can’t try to duplicate the original Stooges noises, so the team cleaned up the old effects and reused them in this film.
Casting THE THREE STOOGES (9:07): Cast and crew discuss how difficult it was finding the three main actors and explain why their choices were “poifect!”
THREE STOOGES Mashup (3:08): A rather pointless collection of cartoon violence.
Original Screen Test (4:03): A proof of concept reel that’s pretty much the exact same scene as when they first meet Sofia Vergara, but with different supporting actors.
Extra Tidbit: Jim Carrey put on 40 pounds to play Curly, but dropped out over fear of endangering his health by gaining the full 70.