I’m a huge fan of Steve Coogan. From his Alan Partridge character to Philomena which earned 4 Oscar nominations in 2013, he’s a versatile chap and perfectly suited to play Stan Laurel. John C Reilly is another idol of mine, from his work with Will Ferell to the voice of Wreck It Ralph, and serious roles like The Perfect Storm and he makes for a spot on Oliver Hardy.
Here these comic talents combine their wit and acting chops to fill in the blanks on a couple of Hollywood legends – Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy.
The film opens on set of one of their films in 1937 with contractual issues causing friction with the head of their studio. Fast forward 16 years to 1953 and nobody’s interested in a black and white era double act, so they accept to do a theatre tour of the UK. In many ways it is a sombre film, as they are past their prime and taking the work purely for the money and a chance for another film.
Some of the biggest laughs come from the interaction between the Laurel & Hardy’s partners, Ida and Lucille Hardy to whom the film is dedicated.
Like the famous duo the film depicts, it is a charming and funny crowd pleaser. 3 & ½ Stars.