To say I was a Three Stooges fan growing up would be an understatement; I’ve got hours of VHS tape filled with every short they made and I can recite/re-enact around 70% of them from memory. So naturally when I found out The Farrelly Brothers were bringing it back to a new audience I was furious for a multitude of reasons (we’ll get to them later). The first trailer for The Three Stooges hit the internet today and it’s…it’s frankly yanking me back and forth. Check it out below or watch it in HD over at Apple.
The plot goes a little something like this:
Left on a nun’s doorstep, Larry (Sean Hayes), Curly (Will Sasso) and Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot…while also stumbling into starring in a phenomenally successful TV reality show.
On a basic level, the idea of a new Three Stooges movie, specifically one that isn’t a biopic, is insulting. This isn’t the same thing as remaking Casablanca or turning a TV show into a movie; Larry, Moe, and Curly (and Shemp!) were these guys, first in Vaudeville and then later on in these now iconic short films. They aren’t characters, like a Don Corleone or a Han Solo. So to think that they could be replaced with an entirely new trio is complete madness.
But despite the stupidity of even going forth with this, The Three Stooges works…on a very limited level. It’s clear they picked a good cast to carry on the legacy of Moe, Larry, and Curly (Diamantopoulous especially is a dead ringer in both look and voice of Moe) and they perform in the same way and do all the same mannerisms. But it isn’t enough to just go through the same motions (and throw in Snooki from Jersey Shore); the original three had true chemistry that was refined from years of teaming together (not to mention Moe and Curly were brothers) and working out the kinks of their act. Hayes, Diamantopoulous, and Sasso may look and sound the part, and be able to pull off some of the same things, but it just all feels very…off. Like it’s a fan film but done with big budget studio money. I appreciate the love of the Stooges the Farrelly Brothers have but I don’t know if this was the way to show it…and I’m pretty sure audiences nowadays won’t appreciate this kind of humor since it’s already been done to death by people who have ripped them off over the years.
Will The Three Stooges be a success? I don’t know. But right now, I’m leaning towards the negative. You can’t replace flesh and blood people with three different people no matter how well they can pull it off; it just won’t have the same rhythm.
The Three Stooges hits theaters April 4, 2012. Excited? Let me know. Maybe I’m just being weird.