In the 1950s, Hollywood generally avoided crude fare and was respectful of religion. Today it specializes in crudity and trashes Christianity, especially Catholicism. Enter the “The Three Stooges.” This movie is not just another remake: it is a cultural marker of sociological significance, and what it says about the way we’ve changed is not encouraging.
Peter and Bobby Farrelly have been working on this movie since 1999. According to David Germain, an AP movie critic, the brothers “never wanted to tinker with the Stooges.” Dennis Lim in the New York Times agrees, saying the brothers “strove for absolute fidelity to the original.” CBS News also cites their “loyalty to the subject.”
They’re all wrong. Yes, the slapstick is there, along with the groans, pokes, thumps, and the like. But the TV show never mocked nuns or showed infants urinating in the face of the Stooges. The film does.
The Stooges are depicted seeking to raise money for their orphanage; it is run by habit-wearing, stereotypical nuns. One of the sisters is played by swimsuit model Kate Upton; she is shown wearing a “nun bikini” with a large rosary around her neck. Another nun, Sister Mary-Mengele, named after the Nazi war criminal, is played by Seinfeld creator Larry David.
In 2009, David proved what he thinks about Catholics when he was shown going to the bathroom in a Catholic home splattering urine on a picture of Jesus (it was his own show). Last night he said to Conan O’Brien that dressing as a nun in the film makes it easy to understand why nuns are “so mean.” He explains, “You know, the outfits might have something to do with that. Forget about the fact that they never have sex. If you gave me a choice of no sex or having to wear that outfit the rest of my life, I would definitely take the no sex.”