HomeEntertainmentMoviesREVIEW: ‘Stan and Ollie’...

REVIEW: ‘Stan and Ollie’ is a marvelous tale about friendship

Laurel and Hardy were one of the top comedy duo’s of the 1900s. But Hardy and Langdon? No so much. That forgotten tandem lasted one movie.

Still, Stan Laurel — in the new movie Stan & Ollie (PG) — can’t seem to forgive his larger sidekick for briefly forming a new partnership, even if it was due to contractual disputes and pressure from their producer, Hal Roach. And even if it took place roughly 14 years ago.

It’s among the best films I’ve watched over the past year, and one of the funniest, too. Laurel and Hardy don’t curse a single time in their shows, but their act is funnier than anything you’ll watch on Netflix’s many raunch-fests.

“You betrayed me,” Laurel tells Oliver Hardy.

Hardy, though, is having none of it.

“You loved Laurel and Hardy, but you never loved me,” Hardy shoots back.

Stan & Ollie, which expands nationwide this weekend, tells the story of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the twilight of their career, years after they were the talk of the nation during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. The duo were kings of silent films and then successfully made the transition to feature-length sound movies, but were pushed aside by a public that wanted something else.

By 1953, when the film is set, acts like Abbott and Costello were more popular.

So, Laurel and Hardy embark on a multi-city tour of Europe, where they will perform their comedy routine in front of a live audience, and stay in less-than-stellar hotels. That’s what the budget allows.

Theaters initially are less than half full, but once word gets out, every seat is filled. Their goal is to revive their careers and to land a major motion picture, too. To do that, Laurel must convince a London studio head that they’re worth the risk.

But when tragedy strikes one of them, their plans are put in jeopardy.

Stan & Ollie stars Steve Coogan (Despicable Me 2 and 3) as Stan Laurel and John C. Reilly (Wreck-It Ralph) — who had to wear a “fat suit” — as Oliver Hardy. Both men are outstanding.

It’s among the best films I’ve watched over the past year, and one of the funniest, too. Laurel and Hardy don’t curse a single time in their shows, but their act is funnier than anything you’ll watch on Netflix’s many raunch-fests. They were creative. We need acts like them today.

The film succeeds thanks, in part, to what it teaches us: fame is fleeting (James 4:14, 1 Peter 1:24) and friendship is priceless.

Early in their careers, Laurel and Hardy were on posters and billboards across the nation. Yet they weren’t friends.

That changed as they aged, grew wiser and forgave one another. We see that in Stan & Ollie. It’s fun to watch.

Stan & Ollie contains no violence or sexuality and only mild language: a– (3), d–n (2), h-ll (1). Also: dear G-d (2).

Entertainment rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Rated PG for some language, and for smoking.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to.know what's happening in the Christian community

More from Author

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the...

Matthew West: Silly song ‘Gobble Gobble’ has served as a bridge to the Gospel

Christian musician Matthew West has won multiple Dove Awards, an American...

Frustrated with Hallmark? Try Great American Family

My family was vacationing at a condo a while back when...

‘Lifemark,’ the Kendricks’ latest movie, perfectly captures the emotions of adoption 

Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly...

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Hallow App Launches 2022 Advent Prayer Challenge

Hallow, a Christian prayer app, launched this year's Advent challenge with cast members from the hit series The Chosen joining the program.

Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

Count Your Blessings Daily, Not Just Once a Year

I heard about a family seated around their table looking at the beautiful golden-brown turkey. Dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, various vegetables, and casseroles complemented the turkey. From the oldest to the youngest, they went around and expressed their praise.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the songs on their latest album in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, long before the nation was divided over issues that now dominate the headlines.  Millard, though, believes the album’s release in 2022 had been God’s plan...

‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.