Graphic Language: Low (lots of name-calling)
Nudity: Low (One bathing suit scene)
Strong Sexual Content: Low
Violence: Medium (Slapstick)
The Farrelly brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary) tackle another insane comedy with their homage to The Three Stooges. The film itself won’t convert many to the Stooge fan club; however, if you’re already a die-hard Stooge fan, you’ll find the impersonations, the puns, the slapstick humor, and even the style right up the alley of what you’d expect from the Three Stooges of old. In fact, the film is comprised of three episodes complete with music and titles reminiscent of the old Three Stooges shorts—and the episodes are linked together into one common story.
This plot revolves around the Stooges being left as babies at the doorstep of a Catholic orphanage, where they are brought up under the careful eyes of the nuns, who shortly thereafter are more than willing to help them find adoptive parents (and get them out of the orphanage.) The Stooges it seems, even from birth, are prone to misfortune. Years later, the Stooges (played by Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos) are grown and still living at the orphanage; and unfortunately, the orphanage now faces a financial crisis. Unless they can come up with $380,000 the building will be forced to close its doors forever, placing all the orphans out on the street. Predictably, the Three Stooges attempt to come to the rescue. Not surprising, they fail miserably, all the while getting wrapped up in a murder scheme, bad ideas gone awry, and wacky antics ensue.
There are surprisingly effective themes of friendship and doing the right thing throughout the film, and the cast is dead-on. If it’s your brand of humor, there are belly laughs galore—for example, including a funny take on AED usage with the authorities, and chaos (and urinary sight gags) in a room full of newborns under the Stooges “care.”
If a theatre full of dads and their 10-year-old sons having a good time and laughing it up are any indication to the effectiveness of the film, then this film is effective—and funny— indeed.
Those of the Catholic faith may find some of the jokes slightly offensive. This is the lowest brand of humor and is portrayed in such a way that if kids watch the film, bet that they’ll be trying to poke each other’s eyes on the minivan ride home. The original Stooge humor was strictly slapstick—hammers to the forehead, hot coals in the overalls—and this version of The Stooges unfortunately includes lewd and suggestive overtones. If your Christian sensibilities aren’t easily offended by the likes of Three Stooges style of humor, you’ll find this film hilarious. If you don’t care for this brand of comedy, then this isn’t the film for your family.
Watch the Official Trailer THE THREE STOOGES
The Three Stooges explores the theme of friendship. At one point Moe gives up the opportunity to be adopted and placed in a home if it means leaving his friends Larry and Curly. For all their faults and mistreatment of each other, the Three Stooges honestly care for one another and strive to do the right and honorable thing. The Apostle Paul speaks about this in his letter to the Romans: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.” Imagine if your friends were actually your family. Would you treat your friends differently? Would you fight harder, defend faster? Or, on the flipside, maybe your family is as crazy as everyone else’s, and you’re not so quick to claim your affiliation! Paul also says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” A few questions to think about: •What does “a good friend” mean to you? How would you define it? • What kind of friend is Jesus to you? Do you treat Jesus as you treat your other friends? • What can you do this week to show your uncompromising, unconditional friendship to others?