Dir. Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly. 2012. PG. USA. Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso.
First published on . Updated on 9 Aug 2012.
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If you think the Three Stooges are somehow too silly or lowbrow to make it in today’s world, just wait until you see Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) achieve stardom on Jersey Shore. In an era that makes celebs out of Snooki and JWoww, the Stooges are a throwback to a more innocent brand of oafdom. That’s the message of the Farrellys’ surprisingly enjoyable relaunch. The Dumb & Dumber directors have always been fundamentally sweet filmmakers masquerading as raunch peddlers. In The Three Stooges, they make a case for a misread of 'do not' as 'donut' as the height of a certain kind of sophistication.
Whether or not you think the medicine is needed, the Farrellys administer it with glee. Through some combination of chemistry, timing and surprisingly adept casting, they’ve managed to craft a scattershot farce that appeals even to someone who’s never appreciated the originals’…grace. The directors swipe the basic premise from The Blues Brothers, filling out the periphery with a few gags (and a closing-credits 'address') ineffably their own. Moe, Larry (Sean Hayes) and Curly (Will Sasso) set out save the nun-run orphanage where they grew up, which has fallen on hard times. (Insurance troubles, Larry David’s mannish 'Sister Mary-Mengele' sneers.) The capers that follow aren’t consistent; a set piece involving urinating infants may leave you feeling hosed down. But when Moe eye-pokes Snooki, it’s hard not to lament that the current state of Joisey-accented buffoontainment is much, much worse. Ben Kenigsberg