Could it be that with two Oscars in his possession, Sean Penn has finally accepted that he doesn’t have to be Mr. Super Serious Dramatic Thespian all the time? That he is, in fact, capable of making us laugh our arses off? That some of us consider his Jeff Spicoli one of the awesomest characters ever? How else to explain the news that this year’s Best Actor winner has been cast as Larry in the Farrelly brothers’ The Three Stooges, which is sure to be about the farthest thing from the high-minded, Oscar-bait movies he’s favored for the past, oh, two decades?
Don’t get me wrong; I think Penn is among our very best dramatic actors. And I don’t want him to stop taking parts like Harvey Milk. But dammit, I’m thrilled he’s signed up for a Farrelly flick. The movie itself may hardly be a slam dunk. The brothers have been trying to get a Stooges romp off the ground for more than 10 years, and comedy purists are sure to cry foul that anyone would even attempt to recreate the original trio’s magic — even if those “anyones” are Jim Carrey and possibly Benicio del Toro. But as long as Penn manages to be half as hilarious as he was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I’ll be happy. I don’t know about you, but I never tire of watching Spicoli tell Mr. Hand he’s “learning about Cuba, and having some food!” Instant serotonin. And pizza!
What about you? Are you as stoked as I am that Penn is putting the funny back on?