A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Three Stooges is the Farrelly brothers' tribute to the famous 1930s/40s comedy team. Though the Stooges are generally good-hearted and have the best intentions, they're exceedingly violent, mainly to one another. This constant slapstick has no physical effect and no consequences for the Stooges themselves, though secondary characters do receive injuries. Also, the movie's plot has the Stooges accepting a job to murder a man for money, though they naively believe that he's dying and that the money will go to save an orphanage. Expect a few suggestive sexual situations and comical innuendo, as well as insulting language like "stupid," "moron," and "shut up." The reality show Jersey Shore is featured prominently. The Three Stooges is much tamer than the Farrellys' usual fare, and a semi-comical disclaimer at the end addresses the movie's violence and urges kids not to try it, but this is still the most juvenile brand of broad comedy.
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What's the story?
Dropped at an orphanage as babies, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes), and Curly (Will Sasso) grow up to be troublemakers. Moe nearly gets adopted, but doesn't want to go without his friends. As adults, they still work at the orphanage, constantly poking and hitting one another and causing all sorts of havoc. When the orphanage's future is threatened, the Stooges head to the big city to raise the money to save it. This involves a seedy murder/infidelity plot, of which the boys have no knowledge, but it also involves Moe landing a role on the reality show Jersey Shore. Can the Stooges get themselves out of trouble and save the kids?
Is it any good?
Written and directed by die-hard Three Stooges fans Bobby and Peter Farrelly, THE THREE STOOGES is both loving and peculiar. The cast members emulate the famous 1930s-era comedians perfectly, catching their rhythms, tones, and mannerisms with amazing accuracy. And in copying the very primal combination of wordplay and slapstick, they generate some genuine laughs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Stooges' comical hitting and violence. Is it funny? What makes it different from action-based violence? The sound effects? The lack of injuries and blood?
Are the Stooges role models? They're "pure of heart" and trying to save the orphanage where they were raised, but their methods are somewhat questionable. Can they be excused?
What is The Three Stooges trying to say? Are the Stooges rewarded for being good people? Do they learn any lessons from their actions or behavior?
Kids: Does watching the Stooges make you want to imitate them?
- In theaters: April 13, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: July 17, 2012
- Cast: Chris Diamantopoulous, Sean Hayes, Will Sasso
- Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
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