Laurel and Hardy are the world's most famous comedy duo. They are getting older and they try to ressurect their film careers. They tour Britain in a theatre tour and their is tension between them. The super cast includes: John C. reilly as Oliver Hardy, Shirley Henderson as Lucille Hardy, Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, Stephanie Hyam as Untitled, Danny Huston as Hal Roach, Nina Arianda as Ida Kitaeva Laurel, Rufus Jones as Bernard Delfont, Susy Kane as Cynthia Clark, Harry Hepple as Wally Brady, Ella Kenion as Holiday Camp Organizer, Sanjeev Kohli as Manager of Glasgow Empire, Bentley Kalu as Elephant Wrangler, Greg Canestrari as Stan's Lawyer, Lucy Appleton as Audience Member and Julie Eagleton as Irish Woman.
In 1937 Laurel and Hardy were much loved theatre performers. We see Laurel and Hardy are having a conversation. "When is your contract up? We should ask for more money" says Laurel. Laurel wants to own their pictures/movies. Hal Roach is the producer. Laurel wants more money from Hal. They all are taping a rehearsed scene.
By 1937 they were already very popular but Laurel was always pushing for more money and rights ownership. The scenes they do aren't that funny by todays standards but the crowds in the cinemas found Laurel and Hardy hilarious. Actually some of their slaptick is very funny but you have to really pay attention hehe.
I guess comedy was different back then. They're just dancing funny moving their hats around, innocent fun. These charming comedic sequences make this movie very special. They make the movie even more of a historical piece.
16 years later Laurel and Hardy are still together. Laurel and Hardie want to stay at an Inn close to the location of their next show. Laurel and Hardy are also very funny and awkward in real life hahaha. It's like they are constantly in a comedic scene! Laurel feels like his getting old. Laurel remembers that years ago Hardy worked with Harry, a new comedian. This is because Laurel was booted out during a pay dispute. This really hurt Laurel.
Laurel makes a joke about being a fake short person. His thighs are his legs and he puts his knees in shoes HAHAHA. He appears from behind a curtain being fake short and Hardy chuckles. What a funny scene!
They then do a theatre performance. "I want hard boiled eggs and nuts" says Hardy in a hospital bed. Laurel salts the egg hehe. The comedy is innocent and simple, yet even the audience in today's cinema chuckled. In the actual performance (remember that it was 16 years after their hey day) there was hardly any crowd. It concerns the two of them.
There on a train. Laurel is working on his next scenes. He says to Hardy "What about if I punch you in the nose" hehehe. I loved that they are constantly working on their routines and coming up with hilarious scenes.
Once again, they play to empty seats in their next show. The lack of support is depressing for Laurel and Hardy. Their new Producer Bernard says that people don't go to the theatre anymore, they watch TV. Bernard wants Laurel and Hardy to do public appearances. They tour Great Britain. This time they sometimes play to packed houses!
They redo the eggs and nuts hospital scene again and again and it makes the audience cry of laughter. One of their other memorable scenes is when Laurel and Hardy can't find eachother at a train platform even thought they're 5 metres away.
Bernard is elated, ticket sales are up and they've booked a massive theatre in London. "Were not exactly spring chickens anymore Are we?" says Hardy. They are older but they're still very talented performers. Hardy looks for some jewellery for his wife from america. At this point I'll say that this movie has a very pleasant mood. Great pace too.
Laurel is waiting to meet someone, Harold Miffen, who is going to get them a new movie deal. While he waits, Laurel does some hat slapstick for the secretary hehehe. Moments like these are special. Laurel finds out that Mr Miffen is away from his office. Mr Miffen was going to finance their new film. But it appears that he broke his promise.
Even though their older Laurel and Hardy continue to be funny in their every day life. For example, they do a routine of getting in and out of their car with their respective partners. It's very funny. A camera from the press follows their every move and they end up taping this scene for the news! Laurel and Hardy did a lot of publicity like this. It's how the two became viral and popular.
Laurel and Hardy's respective partners (Ida Kitaeva Laurel, Lucille Hardy) are also very funny. The four go to dinner together. Their dialogue is funny. Hardy's woman really loves him to bits. John C. Reilly as Hardy does an outstanding job. John C. Reilly has been growing on me since his stint in Boogie Nights, the guy can act. Steve Coogan puts in a strong performance as well and perfectly compliments John C. Reilly.
Laurel always knew more than Hardy about the money side of things and so he was more irritable and depressed than Hardy. The London performances drew huge crowds. The audience claps often. The two do a singing routine. Hardy hits Laurel in head with a wooden hammer and then he starts singing like a girl HAHAHA!.
Hardy says to Laurel "When is Mr Miffin going to see the show". After the show their is a soiree. Hardy says to Laurel emotionally "You think this was all my fault because I did a picture 16 years ago with another comedian?". Hardy also says "You didn't have the guts to get a movie deal". Laurel and Hardy have a huge argument. I guess they're letting of steam that's been building up for years.
Laurel is angry that Hardy betrayed him.
"'Your just a lazy man' says Laurel. 'You never loved me' says Hardy. Hardy wants to quit after this show. This argument is one of the greatest scenes in this movie. These emotions perhaps have been building up after years of performing together. Remember they spent a lot of time together on and off the theatre and movies"
They are in another location, beach side at a Beauty contest. Hardy collapses. Heart attack perhaps. It's quite sad. Hardy is ok though. Bernard has a dinner with Laurel. Bernard feels sorry for Hardy. But is asking Laurel about working with a possible new partner. Laurel says sorry about the argument. Then Hardy says he's retiring! His heart can't take it anymore. He also promised his wife that he would quit performing.
Laurel tells Hardy his new material. It's funny. Hardy is lying down on his bed. Laurel sits next to Hardy on the bed. Bernard wants Laurel to team up with a new partner, Knobby Cool. Laurel remembers a Robin Hood routine with Hardy hehe. He misses Hardy already. Laurel prepares for a show with Knobbie.
Just as Laurel and Knobby Cool are about to perform, Laurel pulls out. The compare tells the audience that the show is now cancelled. Hardy says to Laurel "All we had was eachother and it's just the way we wanted it". Laurel is sad because the two of them have come to the end of their run. Hardy remembers that in the past their fans would say "I think it's wonderful that your still going". So Hardy wants to do one final show! "You can't possibly go on stage" says his doctor.
Hardy leaves his bed! They all go on a boat to Ireland. Laurel says he lied to Hardy about the movie deal. They get a huge reception in Ireland. They do hard boiled eggs and nuts and the train platform routine... the crowd goes wild.
They were truly talented comedians. "It was fun while it lasted wasn't it Stan?" says Hardy. They do a funny silly dance routine to finish the show off. The end text says that Ollie died in 1957.
"The pace and mood of this film is very soothing. It's light comedy. But one must remember that in their hey day, Laurel and Hardy were making people cry of laughter"Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Laurel and Hardy complimented each other perfectly. The fact that even in their real life they were naturally funny and constantly working on their scenes was delightfull. Enjoy the highly entertaining and funny 1hr 38min.