First a personal story: for as long as I can remember, Laurel and Hardy were always a part of my life. When I was a kid my grandfather made it his mission to introduce me and my cousins to the famous duo. Needless to say, we were all hooked. So on my way to see this movie, I kept telling myself: “I hope it meets my expectations!” Laurel and Hardy mean the world to me and up to this day, I had never seen a big screen adaptation made about them. But from the opening sequence, I knew I was in for something special. “Stan & Ollie” is a wonderful film, the kind the real Stanley and Oliver truly deserve. You can practically breathe the air of Hal Roach’s studios, circa 1937, a time when Laurel and Hardy were the most famous comedy duo in the world. Their films were dubbed into so many languages and distributed all around the world. Fast forward 16 years and we’re toward the end of their careers this time. Writer Jeff Pope chose to take a closer look at this particular period of time; Our boys are now in their 60’s, touring England to half-empty theaters while trying to accept the fact that they’re no longer major stars. Call it “Laurel and Hardy’s Swan Song” if you may. And you couldn’t ask for better actors to fill these tricky shoes: Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are truly sensational. There were times where I forgot I was watching them act and convinced myself that they are the real Stan & Ollie. That’s how good they are (why weren’t they considered for an Oscar?). But what matters most is that the film manages to pay tribute to a loving friendship and partnership. Those qualities are rooted in truth and give the film its foundation and emotional impact. For Laurel and Hardy fans around the world, that’s a rare gift. I loved this movie so much.
Categories: 3.5/4, biopic, comedy, drama, The Twenty-First Century
I wanna watch this so bad now! I have the same nostalgic feelings about them, so I’m glad the movie met your expectations. Now I can look forward to watching it.