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The Three Stages

The Three Stooges

Released 22 August 2012
Director Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Hudson, Craig Bierko, Stephen Collins, Larry David

Mike Cerrone, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Bradley Thomas, Charles B. Wessler
Origin United States
Running Time 92 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating PG

Don't try this at home.

There's a reason why we don't see physical farce and slapstick comedy of this ilk that much any more. There's a reason why its heady days were all the way back in the middle of the twentieth century. There's a reason for this, and the reason is because nobody in their right mind would find it funny, let alone hilarious, nowadays. The Three Stooges were comedians of their time, but this isn't their time and what this renewal has resulted in is a thoroughly inane viewing experience.

Ever since Moe, Larry and Curly were left as babies on the doorstep of the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage they have been wreaking havoc and after thirty-five years the damage they have caused has been so extravagant that the orphanage cannot afford an insurance policy, leaving the nuns $830,000 in debt. In an attempt to salvage their home as well as protect the children who need the orphanage for care, the hapless trio go into the big city in search of ways to find the necessary funds. Of course, not everything goes to plan along the way.

While there is no doubting the fact that the entire premise of The Three Stooges is to be overly goofy and absurdly comical, there is very little endearing about the way it is enforced on you. The recurring gags – slaps across the face, eye gouging, being hit across the head with hammer, banging two heads together, and so on – are constant and it is just far too much. It becomes so overwhelming that it's frankly boring.

The funny thing is, the three actors who play the silly roles all do a great job. Indeed, Chris Diamantopolous, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso are all naturals but unfortunately for them their material is not. This is the type of comedy you enjoy seeing in old black and white footage and it doesn't, at least not in this instance, translate well into a modern setting. The most peculiar part was the film's epilogue, in which two actors playing the Farrelly brothers, who directed the movie, approach the screen to explain the secrets behind the aggressive stunts involving props – continuing to advise kids not to try any of the wacky capers at home. Really? I mean, really?

All in all, The Three Stooges is rather harmless but it simply doesn't translate well into the twenty-first century. If you're a fan, there might be enough in here for you. If you're new to the experience, stay clear!

- David Caulfield