CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
Film Review: Harmless ‘The Three Stooges’ Can’t Deliver the Goods
CHICAGO – Moe, Larry and Curly are three of the most popular names in the show business universe, and bringing them back to life in the new film “The Three Stooges” was a questionable risk. The re-imaging, with Chris Diamantopoulous, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso filling the trio’s roles, is a loving tribute that unfortunately veers in too many “Un-Stooge” like directions.
What works immediately is the care and detail given the famous comedy team by the three leads stepping into the personalities. It was obvious that they wanted to make sure that the Stooge essence was honored, and that mission was accomplished. None of the three pushed the characters, they simply played them as faithfully as their talent could deliver. The standout was Chris Diamantopoulous’s Moe, who honored the character (and subsequently, the real man) so much that it felt like a time machine has transported the bowl haircut eye poker forward to our world. Delivering the “narrative” was a different scenario. The plot didn’t fit in with the care given to the three. It was unfunny and mostly just stupid.
The “soy-cumstances” are lifted straight from Jake and Elwood Blues. Moe (Chris Diamantopoulous), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Curly (Will Sasso) are dropped off as babies to a Catholic orphanage. They are immediately loyal to each other, even as children, as Moe can’t go along with an adoption without bringing along the other two. This causes havoc in the institution, especially with Mother Superior (Jane Lynch), Sister Rosemary (Jennifer Hudson) and Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David). They grow into adults without being adopted, taking on their familiar forms, motivations and show effects whenever hitting each other.
The three are finally thrust into the real world when the Catholic diocese needs $800,000 to keep the orphanage open. Instead of getting the band together, the moronic pals seek any kind of work. This involves a shady character named Lydia (Sofia Vergara), who hires the boys to put a hit on her husband Teddy (Kirby Heyborne). This is complicated by the fact that Teddy is a fellow orphan – it was he who was adopted instead of Moe into a rich family – and the Stooges muck up the job in a way that only they can.
Photo credit: Peter Iovino for Twentieth Century Fox