Stan & Ollie

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Why yes, it has been a long time between Netflix DVDs. I'm pretty sure we got this one in the mail back in April or so. Still we keep sending them their monthly fee…

Oh, well. We killed off our subscription to the sad Monday-Saturday Foster's Daily Democrat. (Keeping Sunday, for the coupon flyers and the crossword puzzles.) So, overall, we're ahead of the game, moneywise.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Stan & Ollie. It's not bad, being the sorta-true story of the late career of two legendary funnymen. It opens in 1937, on the set of Way Out West. Stan Laurel attempts to wangle a raise out of the tyrannical producer Hal Roach, but he has little leverage on his own: Hardy's still under contract to Roach. And Hardy, being under constant financial pressure due to his lavish womanizing/gambling habits, doesn't want to rock the boat. So the team splits up.

And we jump forward to 1953, where Stan is trying to revive their career with a new movie. Part of the deal is a vaudeville-style tour of the British Isles, where he and Ollie perform some of their classic skits. It's not promising, as their first dates are sparsely attended. And the would-be movie producer is continually unable to take Stan's calls, never a good sign. And Ollie's health isn't the best…

Stan and Ollie are played (respectively) by Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, and you probably couldn't do better than that. Thanks to prosthetics and makeup, the physical resemblance is very good. A few skits are reproduced and (at least to my dim memory) they seem to be on target. (Still funny? Well, they don't make them like that any more; tastes have changed.)