Tuesday, April 17, 2012



When my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the new Three Stooges movie with him, he felt a little hesitant.

“You don’t HAVE to go, you know,” he said. “I can ask a guy friend.”

“No, I’ll go,” I replied. “That’s actually one movie I wouldn’t mind seeing.”

“Really?” he said, surprised. “That’s good! I just didn’t think you cared one way or the other, and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be dragging you there.”

He wouldn’t be dragging me, I assured him. I watched The Stooges a lot as a kid (it was shown along with cartoons on the local after-school children’s program in the 60's) and I still enjoy watching it now and then on the rerun channel. But from what I understand, there is a significant number of women who don’t quite appreciate the trio’s slapstick humor. I’ve seen articles online and there’s even a YouTube video by a female comedian entitled, “Women Hate the Three Stooges.”

But I never saw anything wrong with their brand of comedy. Which is why, I guess, my husband calls me “an enlightened woman.” And since we rarely ever go to movie theaters—I think the last time I went was to see Nancy Drew with a friend in 2007—I was looking forward to viewing this production. There are so many movies that are unacceptable in my opinion—I’m not into horror or violence or raunchy comedies with lots of drinking and sex. And R-rated movies are totally out. But the Stooges was rated PG and I figured it would be more my style.

So I mentioned to my son and daughter-in-law that we were going to see it sometime over the weekend.

“YOU??” my daughter-in-law said in horror. “You’ll walk out within ten minutes because of the violence!”

“No I won’t”, I said. “I grew up with that, so I’m used to it!”

“Oh, so because you grew up with it, that makes it okay?” my son said snidely. (He was just teasing. I think.)

But I explained to them that it is just cartoon violence, not real. It’s not like the Stooges were mad psycho killers slashing women and children apart with blood and gore and all-around mayhem. Well there would be mayhem, I was sure, but fun, madcap mayhem. And nobody really gets hurt. At least not permanently.

And I was right. The movie was totally silly and stupid! And I mean that in a good way. And yes, there was violence. If it had been the real-life kind, half the cast would have perished within the first half hour from internal bleeding and severe head wounds. Not to mention their eyes would have been poked out.

But more than that, Mr. Bin and I were anxious to see how the actors portrayed the original Stooges. We agreed that if you didn’t look at their faces real closely and just got lost in the story, you would swear you were watching the original Moe, Larry and Curly. It was pretty neat! The slapstick fight scenes are brilliantly choreographed, right down to every poke, punch, slam and bop on the head. Even the buzz saws on the scalp are impressive. And then there was the fight scene in the hospital nursery involving baby boys and spraying urine. Hilarious! So we like potty humor.

The story revolves around saving the Catholic orphanage the boys were deposited at as infants. (The baby stooges were adorable!). For some strange reason, they just never get adopted, and end up working at the facility as adults. They are, as some of the nuns describe them, “Pure of heart, and dim of wit.” The grown up stooges set out to raise money for the orphanage, so we get to see them in all kinds of wacky settings and jobs. There is also a sub-plot involving a murder attempt.

The movie has been years in the making, with numerous cast changes. But it was finally filmed last year, with Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry, and Will Sasso playing Curly. We thought they did an excellent job portraying the original characters—especially Moe and Curly. Jane Lynch is funny as Mother Superior, and Larry David is the Nazi-like nun who suffers many wounds at the hands of the stooges. (I guess it’s just funnier when it’s a guy.)

Actors portraying The Farrelly brothers, the directors of the film, do a postscript where they explain all about the rubber hammers and safe eye-poking techniques, and advise kids to not perform these stunts at home.

All-in-all, it was my type of movie. I laughed and I understood it and I didn’t hear any bad language and there were no people rolling around in bed. Some alcohol was shown, but the Stooges didn’t drink. There was some major cleavage at times, and I did object to the extremely scantily-clad chesty nun at the end of the movie (as did a Catholic anti-defamation organization, so I heard). But, other than that, I recommend it, and on a scale of one to five I’d give it a four.

I can’t imagine viewing it without being a fan of or at least being familiar with the original trio, though—even if you are into slapstick. I still think the best part was seeing how Moe, Larry and Curly were portrayed in a modern-day setting. And as one article on “ehow.com” advised, the best way to appreciate the film is to strip your mind of all its concerns. “An empty head is most conducive to maximizing the Three Stooges experience.” Well that’s no problem for me—in fact, my head was empty before I even got there! Ha!

And that’s how this enlightened woman feels. So take that, wise guys! Now scram! Woo woo woo!

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