Shallow Hal (2001)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Shallow Hal (2001) Poster

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

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  • Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Hal (Jack Black) share a tender moment over an enormous chocolate shake.
  • GWYNETH PALTROW is Rosemary, a Peace Corps vounteer whose inner beauty is seen as physical splendor by her new - and hypnotized - boyfriend.
  • Being in love is an uplifting experience for Hal (Jack Black), after he is hypnotized into perceiving the inner beauty of Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow) as physical nirvana.
  • JACK BLACK is Hal, the ultimate shallow guy whose views are changed forever after an impromptu hypnosis.
  • Mauricio (Jason Alexander) is a little overwhelmed by his ukulele-strumming acquaintance (Joshua "Li'iboy" Shintani).
  • Hal (Jack Black, right) reacts to some questionable advice from his equally shallow friend Mauricio (Jason Alexander).

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12 September 2015 | AlsExGal
| Much better than it's reputation...
even if it is a new take on an old idea - character sees someone's inner beauty and is shocked when the magical curtain is torn away.

Hal (Jack Black) is someone whose last words from his dying father were dad - under the influence of extreme pain killing drugs - telling him to go after pretty girls and forget about love. The message is almost pornographic. This confuses young Hal, who is all of age ten, since dad had always been an upright citizen and a preacher too. Hal blocks this shocking scene out of his conscious mind, but the message becomes the ruler of his subconscious. As a result, as an adult, he is constantly going to bars with his equally shallow pal (Jason Alexander as Mauricio) and trying to chat up and dance with girls way out of his league, and he's not even subtle about it.

Fate changes when Hal gets stuck in an elevator with Tony Robbins who puts him under a spell that will make him see only the inner beauty in people, not the external packaging. He winds up catching a glimpse of Rosemary Shanahan, who has a beautiful soul, but is also 300 pounds. At first she thinks he is just making fun of her, but when she finds out his interest is real they start seeing each other. The catch here? Her dad is Hal's boss, and he's been getting nowhere lately getting a promotion at work. One day when Hal and Rosemary come over to her house Hal ends up talking one on one with the boss, and ends up getting the promotion he's been wanting. Of course his coworkers see his progress, see him cozying up to Rosemary and think that he is lower than lice - using the girl to advance his career. As for Mauricio, he goes in search of Tony Robbins to try and undo whatever spell has been cast on his friend, because it is disrupting his social life and Hal's new aesthetics makes no sense to him.

When Hal is put back to "normal", everybody now looks how they did before. Their physical being is what he sees. This means that he is doing everything he can to not actually see Rosemary since he is in love with her and doesn't want to lose that feeling. From Rosemary's end it looks like Hal got his promotion and is done with her. This is the same opinion that his new boss - who for some reason doesn't fire him - and his coworkers have. How will all of this work out? Watch and find out.

There is plenty of low brow humor here, but it is seasoned with a bit of empathy...EXCEPT that the film still indicates that being overweight is just about the worst thing that could happen to someone AND that the reason for that is always out of control gluttony. In other words if you are not a size five it is your own fault. I've never been a fan of Jack Black but I think he did a good job here. As for Jason Alexander, as Mauricio he is still playing George Costanza from Seinfeld, but that is fine with me.

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