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Shallow Hal 2001

A shallow man falls in love with a 300 pound woman because of her "inner beauty...

Release Date:
November 9, 2001
114 min
Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Gwyneth Paltrow, Chelsea Marguerite, Bonnie Aarons, ...
Drama, Comedy, Romance, ...
USA, Germany

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 7.6


Imdb rating: 5.9

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Movie trailer


I was expecting a good laugh from this. Instead I got a movie with a substance delivered in comical way. Nvtl, the exchanges between Hal and Mauricio are fun.
brilliant movie jack black is a gr8 actor but not a good musician , ya shud watch him in king kong (2005) , thats another gr8 film
Oh I had almost forgotten about this movie, it has a very good message. When my boys started noticing girls, this was what we played for them and used it as a teaching tool. They watched as entertainment and we were able to have a chat about it during dinner. It worked out wonderfully for them navigating the girl/boy relationships. great show
@EnkiHoffa @disengaged
OMGish!! Another level indeed =o
@Tilakos Thanks for posting the screen play in it's entirety.
I really really liked this movie! It is funny and romantic and has a really good message! I recommend people to watch it! I give it 8/10 :-)
Probably one of my all time favorites.
Shallow Hal

Rated PG-13 for father's accented worthless bad language and for the kid flying into a tree over and over again.

You either really like this movie or you don't; that's how I see it. And the near 50% approval rating on backs up that point. I was one who liked it, and I liked it a lot. To the surprise of Ebert, this movie landed in Roeper's top 10 movies of the year. And it would definitely land in mine too.

So, the movie starts with Hal as a 10-year old boy. His father is on his deathbed and is losing his mind. Hal witnesses his final moments, during which he gives him the piece of advice to find a hot girl (said in other words of course). What shallow advice! Anyway, the father dies and the movie starts (a definite strange way to start a movie!). We skip to Hal as a young middle aged guy (30's?) who is cruising for chicks at a night club with his friend Mauricio, played by Jason Alexander. They only go for the girls who would be considered beautiful, hot, & pretty in today's thin-waist line society; the girls considered mostly out of their league by everyone who knows them. Of course they are unsuccessful. Hal lands a date with his glats (good-looking according to society) neighbor. But that relationship eventually ends. Hal considers himself down on his luck. But then he gets trapped on an elevator with Tony Robbins, a (real-life) "self-help guru, who, after Hal removes his pants (don't ask), gives Hal the ability to only notice the inner beauty in the girls (?) he meets (why not guys, too? Then immediately Robbins would turn into Satan, no I'm kidding.) Anyway, after sharing a cab with a supposedly glats woman, he sees another one walking down the street (hey, it's Gwyneth Paltrow!). Her name is Rosemary, and she actually weighs about 300 lbs. He follows her into a clothing store and then asks why she's buying such big clothes (oblivious of course to the fact that the clothes are her size). At first Rosemary despises his rude comments, but when she sees he doesn't mean bad by them, she starts to like him. They go on a few dates. Then they have sex (wait am I giving too much away?), but then the Tony Robbins spell is dropped, and Hal's eyes see what everyone else sees. Then he's forced to face Rosemary's actual image, and he learns one of "life's most important lessons".

Where the other critics went wrong.

Q. One was against the Farrely Brothers choice of casting thin Gwynnie Paltrow as the leading lady. She said, why not cast a plus size woman for the role?

A. People know Gwyneth Paltrow and people will want to see her. That's just how it is. Cast someone who didn't fit into Hal's shallow category of women, and the movie wouldn't work. Plus, the special effects and seeing Gwyneth Paltrow eat a lot are very interesting. So, large audiences are drawn in at the beginning b/c of Paltrow's current appeal. Then, at the end, all of them get the message that what is inside counts the most. At one point there was a shot of Paltrow standing leaning over with her butt right in the camera. At that point, I started to say she was hot, but then I caught myself and felt bad for wanting to say that. That is a profound effect for a movie to give. To make me feel bad about doing something that society encourages me to do.

Q. Other critics wondered why so many fat jokes were used in the movie and thought they were mean to overweight people.

A. The jokes weren't against fat people; the funny part about them was that each one left Hal clueless. How could Rosie eat so much? Why was she buying such large clothes? How could she drink a milkshake down in 5 seconds? How could she make such a splash in a swimming pool? Hal responded in amazement every time, and then Rosemary thought his responses were all jokes based on his amazing sense of humor (which her old boyfriend Ralph didn't have of course. Please! Make Ralph the name of a good character for once!). The jokes worked because everything turned out OK and went well. But then the movie knew where it had to go, and had a nice heartwarming ending without those weight jokes. Plus, no jokes were made when the 300-pound Rosemary was actually on screen.

And expectedly, there is a case in which a glats girl appears ugly because she is cold inside. The timing on that is well-done, although Hal with his additional knowledge does not help her boyfriend figure out that he shouldn't be with her.

As well as overweight people, the movie makes note that women with other features unattractive acc. To society can also definitely have a good conscience and caring personality. One woman had bad teeth but was good on the inside. Another one had a masculine voice and some masculine looks but was beautiful inside (I was especially touched by that one). Oddly enough, some women's looks didn't change. The neighbor kept her standard good looks even though she cheaply wanted Hal in bed after finding out what a deep guy he was. So does that mean that sex before really getting to know someone is OK? I wasn't really bothered by that. I'm just wondering.

And then there's the question of Walt, the guy with a problem because of his spinal cord. He was the one who proved Hal couldn't see the beauty inside men (Then he'd look different). But there were some unfair jokes played against him (looking under his car is one). This is where the critics should focus on the unfair jokes. This left me in some confusion in that the movie is nice to some groups and mean to others. But it was nice to include Rene Kirby in the movie and showing that he accepts his handicap and can live with it (like Rosemary and the others). I guess I was only slightly confused by his character. What was the point of him? He wasn't in that much of the movie and kind of had a sour ending for himself (I think).

And the father. He was a goofy guy, who said the F word many times as if it's spelled with an O. It's funny because you have to figure out what he says, and in so many other movies the words are just used and are there. I liked his character a lot; I liked all the characters a lot and liked the outcome for most of them.

And the movie's ending was definitely happy; it was an ending that had me smiling all over. Great job.

Opening: Father's death a little strange. Pants off a little strange. 14

Middle: Filled with really good jokes and good content. Walt's character was in there and then he just wasn't there anymore, which was 1 minor disappointment. 14

Ending: Filled with a really good message and good-spirited. 15

Visual: Great special effects and my eyes really learned something here. 10

Music: I listened to the credits music without even thinking of getting up from my seat, and all other music was good. 10

Bad content: Not a bother. I suppose some of the sex content was a bit worthless. 10

My expectations: A very good film that basically satisfied all expectations. 25

Ebert Bonus: +3

101% A++
I bought a used VHS copy of this film last week, one of the few films mind ye that I didn't go see in theaters last year. It looked, well, shallow and mean (and the fact that it was directed by the Farrelly bros. didn't help). But I actually enjoyed it, almost as much as I enjoyed their last venture (Stuck on you :fresh: - see my review). The jokes are sometimes clever, sometimes cheap, but they manage to elicit some good laughs nonetheless.

Shallow Hal has a good heart, and it earnestly tries to be a comedy with a commendable message: do not judge people by their appearances, judge them by their "inner beauty". The problem with the film is that by focusing on conveying its message, it forgets to be particularly funny. The Farrelly brothers, who directed the film, have always been at their best when they are going for laughs wherever they are, and not concerning themselves with political-correctness. Despite the fact that the brothers made jokes at the expense of people with mental and physical handicaps in There's Something About Mary, you never got the sense that there was anything but love behind the jabs, and that film had a certain freedom to its politically-incorrect humour. Conversely, Shallow Hal often feels as if its straining not to offend either overweight people or women, and that strain casts a pall over much of the humour. The movie is about a man named Hal (Jack Black) who, despite not being particularly good-looking, has devoted his life to seeking out only the most superficially-attractive young women. When he is trapped in an elevator with motivational-speaker Tony Robbins (playing himself in a gratingly self-serving cameo), Hal is given the gift of seeing people's inner beauty. The way this manifests itself is one of the central flaws of the film: genuinely nice, caring people appear to Hal to be physically beautiful, while the mean-spirited appear as ugly old hags. The problem with this concept is that it essentially changes Hal from one superificial person to another...he is still just judging people by their physical looks, it's just that he is hynoptized into believing people look different than they do. There is also a problem with the film's conceit that "inner beauty is the easiest thing to see", since that seems to imply that good people are good no matter what and bad people will always be evil and spiteful. Despite these gaping holes in the film's logic, Shallow Hal manages to be somewhat sweet and entertaining, particularly when it focuses on the relationship between Hal and Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow). To Hal, Rosemary looks like Gwyneth Paltrow, but in reality, she is a massively obese woman. The jokes that emerge from this situation are very flat and predictable, but what is extremely endearing is the way Paltrow manages to suggest the lack of self-esteem and confidence that Rosemary suffers from. The movie is, strangely enough, at its best when showing how a woman who has been considered unattractive all her life deals with the sudden attention of a man convinced she is beautiful. Shallow Hal succeeds as a somewhat unlikely love story, and it is a shame that the humour is so tired and obvious. If the Farrellys had the same imagination and energy for the jokes that they displayed in There's Something About Mary, and if they had excised the unfunny and grating Jason Alexander character, then Shallow Hal might have been a winning romantic comedy. It gets the romantic part right, but is ultimately too shallow to generate many laughs.

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