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Hard Habit to Break

The just released movie The Three Stooges is catching hell from The Catholic League for its portrayal of nuns — specifically Kate Upton — as Sister Bernice — who emerges from a swimming pool in a baaaad habit. The image is all over the Web and in the TV ads so I won’t post it here (though I did post the trailer a few months ago) so as not to compound any offense.

A spokesperson for the Catholic League was less than amused to see the Sports Illustrated cover model wearing a sacrilegiously skimpy black “nun-kini” and habit in her role as the voluptuous Sister Bernice in the screwball comedy reboot.

According to league spokesperson Bill Donohue, things were a lot less offensive when the original Stooges were “n’yuk n’yuking” six decades ago.

“In the 1950s, Hollywood generally avoided crude fare and was respectful of religion. Today it specializes in crudity and trashes Christianity, especially Catholicism,” Donohue said in a statement.

He went on to say that the reboot of the classic comedy trio says a lot of about the way society has changed, and not for the better.

“The 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,” he continued.

“The TV show never mocked nuns or showed infants urinating in the face of the Stooges. The film does,” he said.

Studio executives at 20th Century Fox are defending the film as well as Upton’s performance as the statuesque Sister Bernice.

“The nuns that Mr. Donohue alludes to, are in fact, caring, heroic characters in the movie, albeit within the framework of a very broad comedy,” a Fox spokesperson said, per the Hollywood Reporter.

I agree that it is a cultural marker in terms of the original Stooges would probably have never have even thought of the gag much less been able to execute it in a public forum. I can’t say I was personally offended, but then while all believers in Christ are Christians it wasn’t a swipe at my denomination. I’d like to think the joke is just the juxtaposition of purity with the smokin’ hote Kate Upton, but any pretense of innocent fun has gone by the wayside in Hollywood’s very active war on religion in the past few decades.

The bigger question… is this a deal breaker? I would imagine the entirety of that scene has been shown in the TV ads and the trailer. Will you give your money either in the theater or at Redbox?

22 comments to Hard Habit to Break

  • “Will you give your money either in the theater or at Redbox?”

    Ah, no.

    Went to a drive-in that had about six of the old “3 Stooges” shorts in a row – before the feature. Forever eliminated my desire to see any more of their schtick (even if it’s updated, and CGI enhanced, for the 21st century.)

  • kbiel

    is this a deal breaker?

    Hmm, that would require me to actually want to see a “Three Stooges” movie without any of the actual six stooges (RIP). Nope, ain’t happening.

    I would ask you to wake me when Hollywood had an actual new idea (Christopher Nolan and Luc Besson excepted), but I’m afraid that will take so long that Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy” will have come to pass.

  • I understand the concern, but at the same time I wish my Church could grin and take the joke. Regardless, I’ll reserve whether I’ll spend any money after I read more reviews and the “nun-kini” won’t deter me (Sasso looks entertaining as usual, even if I can see him channeling Curly just as well in Drop Dead Gorgeous). Outright degradation towards Catholicism otherwhere in the movie, though, a fuhggedaboutit.

    • True… I failed to mention the Sister Mengele thing with Larry David. That might be the deal breaker — but I’ll wait ’til I see what Christian Toto or Kyle Smith says or some of these folks here.

      • Passes the inoffensive test for Dr. Baehr/Movieguide. Looks like I found a movie to see if my games get rained out tomorrow morning.

        THE THREE STOOGES is hilarious. The cast is perfect. The three actors playing the Stooges bring forth the icons in all their slapstick glory. The movie contains a surprising amount of heartwarming emotional scenes amid all the comical chaos. In fact, the movie’s premise is morally uplifting and contains some positive, overt Christian references. Even so, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children. Happily, THE THREE STOOGES comes with a short epilogue explaining that the physical comedy was faked.

  • JimmyC

    Brent Bozell has the money quote on this: “But in a thousand years, would those brave Hollywood souls have the courage to mock a Muslim burqa?”

  • David Marcoe

    Some thoughts:

    1. The group making these statements is the Catholic League, not the RCC proper.

    2. This is certainly milder than pre-Hays Code material.

    3. The joke(s) could be entirely innocent, but regrettably, much of (not all of) Hollywood’s contempt for religion, it’s puts Christians and Catholics on their guard.

    4. It’s a joke, and a very obvious joke at that. It’s too goofball to take seriously. That being said, I could understand why someone my pass on this movie. However mild the humor, sexualizing a nun is something a reasonable person can take issue with. We’re often so numbed by what passes for “humor,” we forget that.

  • Dr. Schplatt

    I doubt very much that this movie will be even remotely funny because the Stooges schtick took talent, timing and creativity. Something the three actors they’ve chosen generally don’t have. Also, the Three Stooges were actually creative in their comedy whereas Hollywood today just puts in dick jokes and stupid sex gags. Not interested in that either.

    The whole movie just looks very pathetic.

  • Well, if you’re a killjoy like the Doc, you’ll be missing one of the best Farrelly brothers movies (nice cameo from “them” right before the credits, too). Good, innocent fun and a nice homage to the source material. Sure, the boys don’t have the timing you’d expect from a seasoned team, but still funny stuff throughout, coming in at a crisp 90 minutes. Craig Bierko continues to be one of my favorite character actors as well.

    As to the “nun-kini,” we (sadly) saw more of it in the trailers/teaser. More than forgiven, though, as Sofia Vergara’s wardrobe choices adequately compensate.

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