At this point, it should also be noted that the Stooges are literally treated as roles. Sasso, formerly of "Mad TV" fame, is fat and bald like Curly, so that's not too much of a stretch. But Hayes is given an intentionally phony looking wig to recreate Larry Howard's iconic hairstyle and the same is true of Diamantopoulos and Moe's bowl haircut. This makes the Farrellys' 'Three Stooges' pointless. Much of the humor of the original Stooges' routines came from how physically ugly and hence comically undesirable the trio were. If any supporting character or antagonist was stupid or inept in a Stooges short, the Stooges themselves were infinitely stupider and more inept. But these new Stooges are not brothers, are not naturally hideous and are also not much of a team. Sasso, Hayes and Diamantopoulos are three talented but incompatible comedians playing dress-up while aping the mannerisms of dead guys that became famous for their original schtick. What's so funny about these new Stooges?
The fact that the plot of "The Three Stooges" is as disposable as it is relatively unimportant as the original Stooges often recycled the plots of their shorts. What's really upsetting about screenwriter Mike Cerrone and the Farrellys' script is that it doesn't do anything with the Stooges as characters beyond pay lip service to the original trio. The film's main plot is divided pointlessly into three half-hour episodes as a tribute to how the Stooges' shorts were always about 16-20 minutes long. But none of the original Stooges' flair for manic slapstick has been retained. Some quips, like the way Curly mewls, "I'm a victim of soy-cum-stance," or later jokes that they're related to a stranger because, "his mother and my mother are both mothers," are understandably taken directly from the Stooges' original shorts. But there's a lot more expository dialogue and high-handed moralizing in "The Three Stooges" than there are amiably goofy sight gags, wise-cracking puns and hyper but good-natured violence.
But again, these weak jokes sandwich the already soggy Stooges gags. It really doesn't help that Diamantopoulos, Hayes and Sasso don't have the basic flair for timing that the original Stooges did. Moe, Larry and Curly's collective charms were always modest and a little bit of humor went a long way. But in the new Stooges don't have a modicum of natural charm that the Farrellys can draw on. Even the irresistibly charismatic Larry David is given nothing to do but yell and get hit over the head with various blunt objects. You know the Farrellys' creative well has run dry when they can't make the inspiration for George Constanza wearing a nun's habit funny. [C]