In this rendition of The Three Stooges Moe, Larry and Curly are orphans. They simply terrorize their orphanage but never on purpose. Put simply, they do not know any better, which might just be the reason why they are called stooges. These boys are being raised by Mother superior (Jane Lynch from Glee), by Sister Rosemary (Jennifer Hudson), by Sister Bernice (Sports Illustrated's Kate Upton) and most hilariously by Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David who for some reason finds humor in adorning a Nazi death doctor's name, but that is sort of his psychotic shtick).
It is easy as pie for these three little devils to make friends because they are forever innocent children even as adults. The Farrelly Brothers at all times remain true to the personalities and characteristics of the original threesome. The situations may be contemporary but the stooges are not.
The stooges are accident prone and they cause mischief at every turn. There are more than enough laughs for even the ardent opponents of slapstick humor. On a short-lived side note, Jennifer Hudson delights us with some lovely anti-Caucasian jokes. It must have been lovely being a five hundred pound couchon (French for pig). Why white people allow themselves to be the perpetual butt of everyone's jokes is beyond me. There is an enormous divide in our great nation and Caucasians are at the losing end of it.
While living at the orphanage and being routinely castrated by Mother Mary-Mengele, Moe is adopted by affluent parents. After insisting his new foster parents adopt his two best friends they decide to adopt the adorable Teddy instead. Moe keeps this turn of events a secret for 25 years. He could have lived the good life that few can only dream of.
When the stooges are full grown Mother Superior is forced to drop some upsetting news on our fiery boys. It turns out the orphanage has been long-underfunded and will have to close unless over $800,000 is donated by some generous soul. Our heroic boys decide to brave the real world and make millions for their lifelong friends and protectors. One can only imagine how funny this scenario reads on paper much less on a film reel.
In the real world Larry, Moe and Curly are approached by a bosomy babe named Lydia (Sofia Vergara). Lydia is pretty much a pile of boobs with an unnoticeable face attached (please don't hate me for describing Vergara so perfectly). Did I write that or think that? Even on screen it is a challenge of man's instincts versus societal expectations not to spend half of the movie watching her boobs bob up and down, but alas be prepared for your girlfriend's elbow. Lydia's boyfriend propositions the stooges to commit murder in exchange for the money needed to keep the orphanage running. Through extreme deception and sophistry the stooges are cajoled into agreeing to the deal. This leads to hospital chases, zoo episodes, and attempted murder as only the stooges are capable.
Ultimately, the stooges find their way in the world separately. Moe accidentally auditions for stardom and becomes the newest member of the Jersey Shore. He beats the living piss out of Mike "the Constipation" Sorrentino, pokes Snookie in the eyes and rips out JWow's nose hairs (it's about time somebody did that!). Curly and Larry sleep in a dumpster outside the Ritz and sell spoiled ice cream to make ends meet. I wonder where the ice cream is stored?
Enough with the plot, let's get to what Screen Spotlight's audience is really craving for. Do we approve of The Three Stooges 2012? In many ways I wanted to hate this new twist on the antique story. Remakes are a dozen a dime and few of them are endearing. Most are awful excuses to pander to new audiences that want the past to be recreated in a way that matches their own generation's humor. The Farrelly Brothers have kept technology to a minimum here and someway, somehow they have caused the three stooges to appear timeless. Sasso, Hayes and Diamontopoulis are truly very talented actors. Sasso and Diamontopoulis are far better than the meandering Hayes but that is irrelevant. The Three Stooges 2012 is funny, heart-warming, and charming. A little something is lost with the addition of color and nobody can ever truly replace the original stooges (including Shemp Howard) but that is not at all what the Farrelly Brothers are after. This Three Stooges is not about attracting a new audience, it is about making older lovers of the characters and the television program happy. Almost nothing is lost and the jokes and stunts are the same as ever. Two index fingers up because that is the best way to poke you and I am not referring to Facebook.
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