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Eleanor Ringel Cater

‘Three Stooges’ — Farrelly Brothers fall short in movie of fake funnymen

By Eleanor Ringel Cater

“The Three Stooges” is like being nyuck-ed to death.

It was shot in Atlanta by the Farrelly Brothers (who are still looking to replicate early boxoffice smashes like “”There’s Something About Mary”). The picture would’ve been one of those one-line, do-I-really-have-to-tell-you reviews.

Except, it was shot here and support-your-local-film-commission and all that. So I went to a screening…

And I made it through maybe, the first half hour. Now, in fairness to the movie, a good deal of that segment is dominated by the child actors who play Moe, Larry and Curly as kids being raised in an orphanage by comic nuns (are there any other kind in Hollywood?).

Anyway, having grown up watching the Stooges on TV, I figured that I knew what I was in for and could judge accordingly.

But it was worse. The kids are creepy…not necessarily their fault; what else could they be? The adults _Chris Diamatopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly — are, well, they make terrific imitation Stooges. Every slapstick detail is copied with admirable precision.

But, does anyone really want to watch 92 minutes of faux farceurs? (my film critic version of fake funnymen).

The segment I saw mainly featured one location: a huge brick mansion on, I think, West Paces Ferry near Pace Academy. But then, huge brick mansions in Atlanta tend to look the same.

This one was cast as the orphanage where the trio of bawling babies are left on the doorstep a la triply twisted moment out of, wait for it, “Oliver Twist.” It’s the one funny moment in the first segment (the movie consists of three) and you’ve already seen in the trailers.

Under the not funny category? just about everything else, including Larry David as a mean comic nun.

If the Stooges are a huge part of your comedy memories or you’re a boy between, say, the ages of eight and 80, this may be your dream movie. Certainly the Farrellys, who reportedly have wanted to make this picture for some time, have been true to their school. I mean, to their Stooges.

But where are the Farrellys of yester-year? Will we never see another “Kingpin?” Heck, at this point, I’d settle for “Dumb & Dumber.”

Which I actually liked. Which is a good thing since…guess what sequel they’re planning? (film critic note: there was already a prequel, 2003’s “Dumber and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd”).

Eleanor Ringel

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.


1 Comment

  1. iyar April 14, 2012 2:20 pm

    i find it outrageously anti-semitic because the Stooges were quintessential yiddish speaking  Jews not Catholics. who wrote the screenplay Mel Gibson?Report


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