Sweet and sad and sentimental and wonderful, above all, Stan and Ollie is a love story. Rare is the time that you feel a part of a movie. The Stan and Ollie schtick is so familiar, so comfortable, that smiles come quick and easy. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly have such a natural camaraderie, such a presence, that they effortlessly fall into their roles. I give this movie 4 Gavels and it has a 92% Rotten Tomato rating and an 89% Audience score.
It’s 1937 and Stan and Ollie are at the top of their game, their movies seen by millions around the world. But, Stan wants to be paid for his fame, like Charlie Chaplin. Ollie, still under contract doesn’t want to make waves. Ollie makes a movie with another partner. Sixteen years later, Abbott and Costello are the rage. Stan and Ollie reunite in England to try to recapture the magic and make a movie. Will the public remember them? Can they still get the laughs? Will the wounds heal?
Coogan as Stan and Reilly as Ollie are both marvelous, worthy of the Best Actor awards already won. The appearance, the gestures, and the timing are just perfect. Of course, there are others in the movie, but your eyes are glued to these two.
A movie about comedians is not always a comedy. These guys are going through a rough patch. Yet, you still see their love for the stage, the audience, and each other. You can’t help but have a tear in your eye as Stan comforts Ollie after a heart attack. More mist appears as Ollie determines the show must go on, even at the risk of his health. Ladies and Gents, this is a quality flick, even though not a blockbuster. Get out the pencils and give this duo their due.