Forget about October Baby, even though I was raving about it. Forget about It's a Wonderful Life, or Gone with the Wind.
The best movie ever made is without a doubt the new Three Stooges film.
OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit.
But this movie could have been really good or really bad.
The fact that the film makers found three actors who are able to imitate the Stooges as well as they do is remarkable. They sound like them, they look like them, and they do their bits with an energy and finesse that has to be seen to be believed.
And while the bits the original Stooges and these guys do might seem as stupid and simple as they play, these routines are very hard to do. I say that as an actor. The talent and skill it takes to do this kind of fast-paced slapstick and make it funny without hurting each other is beyond my powers to explain. There is a kind of "acting" involved in selling this schtick, in making it play, and in pulling off a career of doing this, as the original Stooges did for fifty years or more.
Speaking of the original Stooges, I actually saw them live. Moe, Larry and what must have been Curly Joe (see above) appeared on stage at the Kiel Auditorium (?) in St. Louis circa 1966. They rode out in a golf cart, stood at three microphones, did some sort of dialogue bit, slapped, poked and punched each other to sound effects piped over the P.A. system. There were probably 10,000 kids in the audience screaming with laughter.
And now comes the new film, set in modern times, with a clever screenplay that pulls off the miraculous - it makes Moe a sympathetic figure early on, so that his bullying of the other two is seen in context as his tough guy persona, covering up a heart of gold. Quite an amazing accomplishment, especially since it actually works.
Well, now that I've proclaimed The Three Stooges 2012 the best movie ever made, my career as a critic - an unpaid blogging critic - is clearly washed up. So finally I'll be able to get a few things done.
Oh, and if you're down in the dumps (see my last post) and a spiritual solution eludes you: I have a list of names that will help - Moe, Larry, Curly, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Stan and Ollie, Charlie and Buster, Bud and Lou and many more.
Thank you, Lord, on this Divine Mercy Sunday for your greatest Mercy of all - laughter.
(Above: yours truly as Groucho)