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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sean Penn as Larry? Hmmm!

OK, I know this is supposed to be a bicycling blog. But since I lead a bicycle ride called the Tour de Stooges and -- as of Monday -- own all 90 Three Stooges shorts featuring Curly and 16 of 70 shorts with Shemp, I think it's appropriate for me to comment about the upcoming Three Stooges film being made by the Farrelly brothers.

For about a decade, the Farrelly brothers have been trying to make a movie about the classic comedy trio, and they finally may be close to getting it done.

Variety reported that MGM and the Farrelly brothers have signed Sean Penn to play the role of Larry. Negotiations are under way with Jim Carrey to play Curly, with the actor already making plans to gain 40 pounds to approximate the physical dimensions of Jerome "Curly" Howard, and with Benicio Del Toro to play Moe.

If everything goes as planned, Variety reports production will begin in early fall for a release sometime in 2010.

The choice of Sean Penn to play Larry is an interesting one. "I resemble that," is what Penn might say to comparisons between him and Larry Fine. I'm wondering how he'll do, however, in a second-banana role, as Larry normally played to Moe, Curly and Shemp. Maybe the Farrellys will more fully develop Larry's persona to fit Penn's talents, but to me, Penn seems more of a Moe than a Curly as far as demeanor goes.

Some Stooge purists say it's a horrible idea to try to make a new Three Stooges movie. The jury still is out for me.

I consider myself a student of the Stooges of sorts, and a close viewing of early Stooges films reveals they were somewhat risque for their day, particularly with double entendres. And yet, the Stooges also had a sense of innocence about them. The challenge for the Farrellys will be to get the proper balance of the risque, the innocent and -- of course -- the slapstick to make it work.

Below is a clip of the original Three Stooges. You be the judge!


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