I had absolutely no interest in a Laurel and Hardy movie when I woke up this morning, and not even a few shots of John C. Reilly’s impressive prosthetics changed my mind. But, reluctantly, I watched the trailer, and I found myself completely won over by it. It tackles the later career of Laurel and Hardy, specifically a British tour in 1953, before their ailing health eventually took them away from the stage (Oliver Hardy, played by John C. Reilly, died in 1956 after two years of failing health). It’s one of those last hurrah movies, where the band gets back together, frets that no one will want to see them, and then turns on each other before finding out that they were just as beloved as they always were.
It looks like a sweet, gently entertaining movie, appropriately from Philomena writer Jeff Pope and Scottish director Jon S. Baird (Filth). It stars Reilly, Steve Coogan as Stan Hardy, Danny Huston, and Shirley Henderson.
By the way, Shirley Henderson, who plays Laurel’s wife, is probably best known for her role as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter films.