Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we have wine pairings for stooge movies, two of which would be better served by a seltzer bottle.
I’ll warn you ahead of time – this trio of movies is held together with the flimsiest thread – two films from the Three Stooges and one about The Stooges, the punk outfit from Michigan which blew the doors off of rock’n’roll in the late 1960s. I’m certain that somewhere, sometime, someone had to have written about these Stooges and the comedic threesome in the same article, Maybe in Impossible Matches Monthly or Non Sequitur Weekly. We, however, have wine pairings to go along with them.
We’ll start with the outlier, Gimme Danger, the 2016 Jim Jarmusch film about the musical Stooges. Jarmusch was Iggy Pop’s choice as director if a film was made about the band, and I suppose that was all Jarmusch needed to hear. If you are a fan of punk rock, this movie pays tribute to the band who laid the groundwork for the genre. Conversely, if you hate punk rock, this film shows you who to blame. Something for everybody.
A punk rock type of movie calls for a punk rock type of winemaker. Booker Wines’ Eric Jensen fits the bill – at least he curses a lot, which may be a habit he picked up as a concert promoter. His Ripper Grenache comes in a magnum bottle – the better for fighting with once it’s empty – for close to $200.
In 1962’s The Three Stooges Meet Hercules, the Stooges – Moe Howard, Larry Fine and “Curly” Joe DeRita – the team appeared in their third and most successful full-length feature, following decades of short films. The plot has them employed at a drug store – why not? Someone should compile a list of jobs held by the Three Stooges over the years for which they were completely unsuitable. In this film, they help a neighbor build a time machine in their spare time – again, why not?
Stumbling through time, they find themselves in ancient Greece, where they somehow manage to overthrow the mean King Odius. The Three Stooges were no strangers to lending a hand to the unfortunate and unlucky, while finding a way to fix the wagon of the bad guy. The slapstick is rampant here. In fact, the slap stuck a bit harder than expected during filming when heavyweight DeRita fell on top of Fine, knocking him out cold.
Hercules is the name of a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Jason’s Vineyard on New York’s Long Island. Strong and brawny? Not exactly. It’s sweet and relatively cheap. Kinda like Three Stooges movies.
The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze came along the following year, 1963, with the same post-fifties stooge lineup. This time around, they are servants of Phileas Fogg III, a descendant of the round-the-world traveler in the Jules Verne classic. There is danger at every turn, avoided by the bumbling of the comedy trio. They even escape a Communist brainwashing in Asia by not having a “brainee” to “washee.” That line played a lot funnier before everybody got woke.
It’s not really a spoiler alert to say that in the end the good guy wins, the bad guy loses and a perfectly good balloon gets wrecked.
If you want to take a trip to the Eiffel Tower and dine at Le Jules Verne, you’ll have your pick of France’s finest offerings – Grand Cru Champagne, Premier Cru Burgundy, Chablis and more. Or you can crack open whatever is left over from your Bastille Day celebration.