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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The New Three Stooges Movie

Believe it or not, a new Three Stooges movie is in production, set to be released next year. Unfortunately, the original stooges are not available to reprise their roles in this new venture. If they were still alive today they’d be 108 (Curly), 109 (Larry), and 114 (Moe). This new, modern day take on the Stooges will star Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly. It will be directed by the Farrelly brothers. Are you excited yet? Neither am I.
First, let's look at the positive side. If the Farrelly brothers give us a true salute to the Stooges that respects and captures their comedic genius, and they avoid the kind of over-the-top sexual humor they're known for, then I'll become their biggest fan. If they do this thing right I'll go see the movie and tell all my friends to see it.
It's just that I'm a little nervous about any movie made by the Farrelly brothers. Do they have some funny movies? Yes. Dumb and Dumber is a favorite of mine. However, their list also includes There's Something About Mary, Me Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal, Stuck On You, and their most recent Hall Pass. The common thread in all of their movies is sexualized humor meant to be shocking and funny at the same time. My point is not to put down the Farrelly brothers, but to question whether or not they can produce a movie that honors it's subject matter without sinking into the well of sick and depraved humor that they've visited time and time again. There is no need to go there with the Three Stooges. They were funny on their own. They don't need to be modernized for today's audiences, as is the excuse given for many modern remakes of old classics. This should be a movie that is funny simply because it showcases funny people.
Let's hope that Bobby & Peter Ferrelly are approaching the new Three Stooges movie as a way of redeeming themselves in the movie industry. Maybe they'll produce a respectful, clean, honest look at the Stooges that's also incredibly funny. Doing that would be great for their careers, making them accessible to lots of folks who currently avoid their movies. It would also introduce the original Three Stooges to a legion of new fans.

In researching this article, I learned a few things about the Three Stooges. A common perception I hear these days is that Shemp was Curly's replacement. Not so. The original cast was Moe, Larry and Shemp (1930 - 32). In 1933, Shemp left to pursue his own career and Moe brought on his younger brother Jerry, renamed Curly. The stooges were Moe, Larry and Curly until 1949 when Curly left due to illness. Moe convinced his older brother Shemp to return. Shemp came back and did a fine job in the role. When Shemp died in 1955, they became Moe, Larry and Joe for a short time. Then later they were Moe, Larry and Curly Joe.
I don't know how much of their history, if any, will be on display in the new movie. I'm just hoping and praying the Ferrelly brothers do it right. You can do it guys. Do it for Howard, Howard, Howard, and Fine. They deserve it.

1 comment:

  1. This is a classic that doesn't need an upgrading. My 17 and 15 yr old love the humor in the "originals". I'm with you hoping they keep it to it's true form of comedy.