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Left on the doorstep of an orphanage run by nuns, newborns Moe, Larry and Curly grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Now, out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot…while stumbling into starring roles in a phenomenally successful TV reality show.
What is the greatest motion picture comedy team of all time? Some would award that title to The Marx Brothers, others would favor Abbott & Costello, or maybe Laurel & Hardy. But for legions of fans – including children, their parents, and their parents’ parents – ‘The Three Stooges’ are the classic comedy act. Larry, Curly and Moe’s raucous physical antics – pure of heart, but dim of wit – are the last word in timeless fun.
Even if that word is “Nyaaaaaahhhhhhh!”
The all-new motion picture ‘The Three Stooges’ is a contemporary take on a trio of boneheads, recreating the classic and iconic Stooge sound effects (including “boinks,” finger-snaps, and palm claps), haircuts and other Stooge-isms, with modern-day attitudes, situations and pop culture references.
In the film, we meet the Stooges as newborn “angels from heaven.” That’s how the nuns characterize the three toddlers left at their orphanage. Never mind that one infant is sporting a bowl-shaped haircut, the second has two shocks of bushy hair sprouting from a bald pate, and the third rocks a retro-crew-cut. But when one of the nuns, Sister Mary-Mengele, receives a fierce eye-poke from Moe, which catapults her into the next county, they suspect the new arrivals are anything but heavenly.
Now, years later, their Three Stooges have left the nuns bruised, battered and bewildered. Even worse, it looks like the orphanage will be forced to close its doors due to financial difficulties. But Larry, Curly and Moe, employed as the foster home’s inept maintenance men, are determined to come to the rescue. Their quest: raise $830,000 in just 30 days, or risk losing the only home they’ve ever known.
Out of the orphanage for the first time in their lives, and making their way through the Big City streets, the bumbling buffoons encounter a hot tamale named Lydia, who offers the Stooges a chance at some easy money; all they have to do is put her poor, suffering husband out of his misery to collect a payday hefty enough to save the orphanage.
Despite their relentless cluelessness, the Stooges smell something fishy in Lydia’s scheme. Especially when they find out who the mark is — their boyhood friend Teddy, a former orphan and now Lydia’s unsuspecting spouse.
As they try and save the day, Larry, Curly and Moe engage in plenty of their trademark antics, including a saturating situation involving bundles of wet diapers in a hospital nursery; more hallmark hilarity at a private, black-tie party at a splashy mansion; and Moe’s newfound stardom on reality television.
Starring as the troika of knuckleheads are Emmy and Tony Award-winner Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), who portrays the balding, sour-faced, bushy-haired Larry; Will Sasso (MADtv) as the rotund funnyman Curly, whose trademark “nyuk-nyuk-nyuk” usually invites a physical outburst from older brother Moe; and Chris Diamantopoulos (‘24’, The Kennedys) as Moe, the dark-haired leader of the farcical trio known for his distinctive bowl-style haircut and intolerant ire.
‘The Three Stooges’ was made because the cast and filmmakers love the original trio’s work. The Stooges, says co-writer/director Peter Farrelly, “are three of the funniest guys who ever lived. We wanted to honor them by doing this movie.”
“You can literally draw a parallel from The Three Stooges to everything that’s going on now in comedy,” adds Will Sasso. “I don’t know what physical comedy would be like without them. If The Stooges just happened to come along now, I think they’d do well.”
Over a twenty-five year span at Columbia Pictures (1934-1959), The Three Stooges poked and slapped their way through 190 original two-reel comedies, each of which could have provided the filmmakers with storylines for the new film. But instead of recycling material from The Stooges’ short films, co-writers (with Mike Cerrone)/directors Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly were inspired to come up with a new and contemporary story. Still, their Stooges look, sound and talk like the originals.
“One of the great things about this movie is we added a new dimension to these beloved characters,” notes Sean Hayes. “The Three Stooges shorts never explored any kind of emotion, or had a real story line. They were all about the laughs. Our film infuses their story with emotion, while retaining all the fun. So, nobody’s seen this version of The Three Stooges before.”
Indeed, while the Stooges’ antics are as outlandish and cartoonish as ever, the characters are, as Jane Lynch (who portrays Mother Superior) notes, “just the sweetest guys. They’re buffoons and they make huge mistakes, but it always comes from the goodness of their hearts, even as they’re poking each other in the eye.”
To Lynch’s point, The Stooges are total innocents. The nuns raise them in a very sheltered manner. “So, they don’t really have a concept of what’s going on in the outside world,” says Chris Diamantopoulos. “They are fish-out-of-water who have never seen the real world or been exposed to anything modern. The only thing they’ve known is the orphanage.”
Image Courtesy of The Three Stooges