Jewish World Review August 3, 2004 / 16 Menachem-Av, 5764
I read in the New Yorker that the Farrelly Brothers, creators of DUMB
AND DUMBER and THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, are planning to make a 3
Stooges movie, not a biography, but a new feature length 3 Stooges movie.
Of course, the original stooges, Moe, Larry, Curly, Joe, Curly Joe,
Shemp are all poking each others' eyes in vaudeville heaven, so that
means the hunt is on for three NEW stooges. This concept angers longtime
fans, from whom the original witless legends are national treasures.
And also, all those poking, bonking, and slapping skills, once
considered essential in any basic education, sadly are no longer being
taught in our schools. Still, you would think there are some out there
who might fill those mighty shoes. Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Will
Ferrell, Steve Martin, even Martin Lawrence could stooge with the best
of them, I'm thinking.
But the Farrelly Brothers are also concerned with the narrative arc, the
back-story. This being the 21st Century, you can't just have two hours
of nitwits whacking each other on the head with bricks, no, you can't
just have Moe pouring paint on Larry's head, and then Larry pouring
paint on Curly's head because he laughed at Larry. No, you have to ask
yourself, "Why is Moe so angry? What are the roots of that anger? When
he pokes Larry in the eyes, or slaps him, or grabs him by the nose to
slam his head against he wall, is it just a cry for help? Is there a
path for healing here? For Moe?"
Well, these being the Farrelly Brothers, they probably aren't treating
these questions THAT seriously, but they are hoping that Russell Crowe
will take the part of Moe. I can sort of see it. Give him a bowl cut,
and prosthetic bags under the eyes, and he could beat the crap out Bill
Macy as Larry and Al Pacino as Curly until the cows come home. And make
us care in the process. Would it be funny? Doubt it. I suspect the time
for 3 Stooges comedies has come and gone, and they must go the way of
the singing cowboy, ventriloquists, and Ben Affleck, who would also make
an excellent Moe, come to think of it.
Among other Australian actors, I know that Mel Gibson is a big fan of
the Stooges, but given his recent history in the movies, his playing a
vicious bully might not be a good career move. And besides, if we're
going to start outsourcing to Australia for actors to play
quintessentially American belligerent idiots, well, it might make good
economic sense, but what does it say about our cultural values? Don't
you think we have plenty of morons willing to work cheap right here at
home? I do. Soitinly.
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2003, Ian Shoales