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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Oh, Wise Guy, Eh? Nyuk, Nyuk

Yes, I admit it. I just saw The Three Stooges, and I had a good time. Unlike many of the recent revivals of old television and movie characters this is a loving homage rather than a self-referential parody. Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso are dead-on as Moe, Larry, and Curly, not just in voice, but in every nuance and mannerisms. I would have liked to have seen more references for the longtime Stooge fans, there was a sequence in a hospital, and no one thought to include a "Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard", and a Shemp cameo would have been nice, but I think a character named Teddy may have been a nod to Ted Healy, who was part of the Stooges' original vaudeville act.

Early into the movie I realized I should approach it less like I would say the Smurfs movie or any of a dozen film reboots of tv sitcoms, and more like a stage show like A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine (part of which is a re-imagining of a Chekhov story as a Marx Brothers film). Even as a film, I'd say it has more in common with the latter in spirit. I realized that had this been on Broadway rather than the big screen it probably would have been less controversial among the purists. (And a purist I often am.)

It's by no means flawless, I could have done without a Jersey Shore subplot, although there was a sense of satisfaction in seeing Snooky and crew getting eyepokes and head slaps (but lordy, they CANNOT act), but still, it was a fun diversion. I hope some of the kids in the audience will be tempted to check out the classic shorts, I know I'M in the mood for some.

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