How can you get sick of Laurel & Hardy? Maybe it’s possible, but I always enjoy coming back to them, because they are easy on the eyes and the mind. They have the mayhem of The Marx Brothers or The Three Stooges, but they remain, perhaps, even more endearing more often than not. They may not be as witty as Groucho or as belligerent as Moe and his crew, but they have heart and every “fine mess” that they get into is usually a pleasure to watch.
Our Relations is another one of their short features and it borrows its main plot device from the long overused identical twin trope. We have undoubtedly seen it countless times on many a movie and most definitely a TV show. But before I harp on them too much, I will give them some slack because it was the 1930s, not 2014. That being said, the confusions and mix-ups that occur as a result of this situation are a segue to some fun comedy.
The story begins with a strangely well to do Ollie and Stan having a nice time with their wives. It is their two seafaring twins who cause trouble at a bar and hold onto an invaluable ring. They get more than they bargain for having to navigate two angry wives, two angry girls, an angry waiter, an angry sailor, some angry gangsters and the always miffed James Finlayson. Notice I didn’t specify which pair of twins, because each set has their share of grief.
It gets difficult telling them apart after a while as they keep playing “the shell game” and our only cues are their ties and some theme music that tips us off. Most definitely this is a fun romp with our two…four heroes. The facial expressions of Stan Laurel always crack me up (including his sniveling), and Ollie is forever a klutz with the help of his bumbling buddy.
It culminated with the wonderfully hilarious scene in the cement that was the goofy apex of a solid Laurel and Hardy film. If you want culture or high brow humor please go somewhere else. As for me and myself, I will continue to enjoy what these two men gifted us all those years ago. It also had a moral to the story. There is nothing quite as important as our relations. Scratch that. Maybe it was just made for us to laugh, and there is nothing much wrong with that.