Undeniably, we live in a generation of movie adaptations. It seems as if a majority of movies nowadays are “based on the bestseller” or “inspired by a true story.” Even more films are a part of the burgeoning trend of remakes, such as Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night.
But having these phrases stamped onto a movie poster doesn’t mean the movie is necessarily going to be “bad” solely because it is not the original. With the upcoming Farelly Brothers reboot of The Three Stooges — starring Sean Hayes of Will and Grace fame as Larry, MADtv cast member Will Sasso as Curly and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe — there is quite the fervor over fidelity to the classic slapstick trio’s legacy.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will take on a modern day twist as Curly, Moe and Larry circumstantially find themselves on a reality TV show. One fan notes on the film’s IMDb webpage, “I know it’s going to suck (or not be very good)! … Even if the impersonations were all that good, nothing can replace the Stooges!”
Comments like this reflect our tendency to reject an adaptation before it’s even seen due to the sentimentality surrounding the primary source. Modern day adaptations should be looked upon more as versions of a story. This by no means requires that we ignore the original material. Rather, we should accept the original as an influence upon the newer film and take that film as a single chapter in the vast volumes of the characters’ lives.
The Three Stooges film is merely a probable moment of an adventure the trio might encounter in today’s world. We can’t expect the film to remain in the same era — the shorts began as vaudeville in the early ’20s — nor expect it to strictly abide by the minute details of the characters’ histories.
Such a replication wouldn’t be relevant to today’s audiences. If you want the original Stooges in this film, you might want to head over to the nearest Blockbuster to rent the black and white adventures of the long-gone actors on DVD.
The Three Stooges may be a hilarious take on the infamous trio or it may be a total flop. But we should at least judge the film by its own merits and as a separate entity, rather than make assumptions based on our predisposed emotional attachment to the source material.
Decide for yourself on April 4, 2012, when the film is set to be released.