Jenn Rohm Reviews "Stan & Ollie"
With the help of prosthetic makeup, solid costuming, and the pure talent of Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, director Jon S. Baird have brought the story of classic comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy to the big screen in the biopic that is simply titled “Stan & Ollie”.
Based on the later years of the pair beginning in 1937, Baird’s tale goes through the trials and tribulations of Stan and Oliver both professionally and personally and takes the journey with them up until the end of both of their lives. From Oliver getting teamed up with Harry Langdon after Stan refuses to re-sign with Hal Roach through their struggles after that era as they take their show on the road and taking anything they can get to stay relevant (including a beauty pageant), their relationship runs the full span of emotions from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
Both lead actors do a great job telling the stories both known and unknown of Laurel and Hardy, while the production staff does a very good job as well with the set design and lighting. They truly knew what they were doing, and it shows. There is also a great turn by veteran actor Shirley Henderson as Lucille Hardy as she showed how much love Lucille had for her husband through it all. It was also nice to see her in a role where she is not moaning in a Hogwarts restroom or playing second fiddle to Bridget Jones.
“Stan & Ollie” is truly an enjoyable film that shows a strength in the friendship of two of the icons of the world of comedy that many may not know otherwise. Check it out at a matinee showing to truly get your money’s worth.