DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: April 13, 2012
Rating: PG (for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language)
Genre: Comedy
Run Time: 92 min.
Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Actors: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Hudson, Lary David, Craig Bierko, Stephen Collins

Like the threadbare Saturday Night Live sketch that somehow makes its way to the big screen (MacGruber, anyone?), the slapstick shenanigans of Moe, Larry and Curly, a.k.a. The Three Stooges, wear out their welcome in, oh, about five minutes flat—and that’s being generous.

Not surprisingly, the project has been stuck in development for years now, and why it’s seeing the light of day now is really anyone’s guess. It certainly isn’t a return to comedic form for the Farrelly brothers who desperately needed one after last year’s dreadful Hall Pass, that’s for sure. In fact, even if you’re a relatively easy laugh, it’s still impossible to find much, if any, enjoyment in the bumble-headed antics of three middle-aged friends whose idea of a good time usually involves some sort of bodily harm.

But for whatever reason this mess was greenlighted, it’s every bit as bad as the trailer suggests. Not even the presence of truly funny supporting talent like Larry David (TV’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jane Lynch (Glee) and Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) can save The Three Stooges. If anything, you’re only reminded how much better that show was in simple black and white.

Rather than offering a playful homage to Moe, Larry and Curly or even telling an “origins” story that provides further insight into the characters themselves, the storyline itself was apparently ripped out of mothballs as well. Kicking off at the orphanage the Stooges were dropped off at, the “plot” is nothing more than watching the Stooges act out, first as toddlers, and then, as adults.

Borrowing every n’yuck, n’yuck, n’yuck from the original series, you can’t help wondering why the screenwriters even bothered dropping the Stooges in to a modern setting. Worse yet, the tired script focuses on their first foray into “real life” where they’re attempting to raise $830,000 to keep the orphanage open after mysterious “financial challenges” threaten to shut the whole place down.

Given their sheer lack of employable qualities, one can only imagine how much trouble the guys get into while trying to land a profitable gig (one scenario naturally involves a memorable cameo on TV’s Jersey Shore). And since the Farrelly Brothers are involved, there’s no shortage of lowbrow potty humor to boot.

Just to give you an idea of how thoroughly uninspired the movie is, one overly-long scene that’s trademark Farrelly involves the Stooges changing a roomful of babies’ diapers and spraying each other in the face, chest, etc. with streams of the little ones’ urine.

Are you laughing yet?