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Doug & the Movies: 'The Three Stooges'

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SALT LAKE CITY — Maybe it's a black and white thing. Maybe it has more to do with time and space, or maybe it's Larry, Moe and Curly only truly work when it's really Larry, Moe and Curly. Whatever it is, the Farrelly Brothers new movie, "The Three Stooges," doesn't quite have it.

Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso suit up as Larry, Moe and Curly as the boys try to help stave off the foreclosure at the orphanage where they were raised (didn't the Blues Brothers, with their simmering cool, face the same plight years ago?). Big bucks are needed and the Stooges fall, literally, into scheme after ill-fated scheme to help their beloved nuns.

In the process they stumble -- again, literally -- into a plot to kill a fellow orphan who was adopted into a wealthy family years ago.

The film is so scattered, so disjointed, so stupid that I began to feel like the stooge for watching.

This is where local actor Kirby Heyborne steps in as Teddy. Little Teddy is now married to the gorgeous but insidious Lydia, played sassily by Sofia Vergara. She wants Teddy dead so she can wed his best friend, but all might not be what it appears.

But who cares? By this time the film is so scattered, so disjointed, so stupid that I began to feel like the stooge for watching.

I do have to give some credit to Will Sasso who comes closest to delivering the real deal. He's the only one who seems not to be breaking a sweat in the attempt to channel the spirit of the original Stooges. I liked the nuns too. Jane Lynch stars as Mother Superior, Jennifer Hudson is Sister Rosemary and -- brace yourself for this -- Larry David steps into the role of Sister Mary-Mengele. Believe me, there is nothing subtle here -- zero attempt at feminizing David's character and strangely, it kind of works.

"The Three Stooges" delivers laughs, and those who have no recollection of the original won't have some of the hang-ups I have.

Don't get me wrong. "The Three Stooges" delivers laughs, and for those that have no recollection of the original famous trio, they won't have some of the hang-ups I have. But still, there is something lost in the translation here. Even though Sean, Chris and Will tried to tap into their inner-stooge, I just couldn't get over the fact that these three were working awfully hard to imitate the real, Larry, Moe and Curly.

It's folly to go highbrow on "The Three Stooges," but still, I can only give the movie 2 stars and it's rated PG. It should have been rated PG-13.


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