I didn't think I would like this because I didn't care for the trailer, for some reason. But I really enjoyed the movie. It was so great that it showed Stanley as a workaholic and a very intelligent man in real life. In the Laurel and Hardy shorts and movies, he definitely plays a dim bulb. I love the vacant stare of his. And I give John C. Reilly lots of credit for his acting skills. He's buried under prostheses but still manages to emote.
I think the gap in the film from 1937 to 1953 isn't meant to suggest they didn't do anything. When I was watching, I accepted that the opening scene was to show them in their prime, and then the movie jumps to the English tour in 1953, since that is the focal point of the movie.
And, to give this a theater spin, the movie shows them doing their live performances and going from theater to theater as the tour progressed.