Yes, the Three Stooges were characters portrayed by actors. I do not labor under any illusions that the three Stooges really went about poking one another in the eye, slap-sticking each other and pulling one another's nose, no matter how totally awesome that illusion might be. But its also, for this human, impossible to separate the characters from the actors. Hell, the Stooges didn't just hire some new guy to play Curly. They replaced him with Shemp.
Which opens the door to the whole "Fake Shemp" discussion, which is sort of morbidly fascinating.
Now, according to my intensive Stooges research, the Stooges struggled for years with their third stooge, and it could be said that somehow that makes them all fungible. Hell, after Curly and Larry died, Moe did continue on with Shemp, then Joe, then Curly Joe. Then a replacement Larry. Then, when Moe died, an "all new Stooges" formed from the replacements, but who the hell remembers those guys?
|the classic formula|
The point is - Moe, Larry and Curly are so tightly bound between actors and characters, bringing them back in 2012 with new faces and actors trying to emulate the original formula seems ill-conceived.
In all honestly, I originally thought when I heard there was a movie about the Three Stooges, it would be a biopic about the men behind the eye-poking. It wasn't until I watched the new trailer that I learned otherwise.
I don't think you'd see a new Little Tramp movie. Or a new Marx Bros. movie. Laurel & Hardy. Abbott & Costello. A new Lucy TV show, etc... And while, yeah, we'd all like to see some new Stooges movies*, if none suddenly surface, I think its okay to just live with the many, many shorts and features they released.
Also - these guys, all talented, just aren't the Stooges. They're guys approximating what the Stooges refined every day of their lives for 30 years. The timing looks off, and it looks like half-realized impersonations of well known characters more than, well, I guess just BEING Moe Howard
I guess its a kids' movie, but given current trends in parenting, I'm hard-pressed to believe that the eye-poking, face-slapping antics I enjoyed as a youth will go over well today.
All this said - I'm not a huge Stooges fan. I don't dislike the Three Stooges, but it isn't something I watched all that often as a kid, and they just didn't air much anymore by the time I was an adult. I appreciate that they have a cult following (you know who you are), and I am certain someone is thrilled to license the image of their dead relatives to get this movie made, but I'm not sure how this is going to work.
Prove me wrong, new Stooges movie directed by the ever-increasingly-dull Farrelly Brothers.
*your mileage will vary on that sentiment