on 27 August 2006
..... a film that proves looks arent everything. even though it's done in a comedy way, it still is giving that message. (even though i think some people are more concerned about the quality of comedy rather than the actual meaning of the film).
The bit where Hal goes back to the hospital and sees the little girl 'Kadence' with her burns is a very touching scene. and i loved the guy who walks on his hands. :)
I loved Jack Black too, i thought he was really funny. And Gwyneth Paltrow was brill as the self - concious large Rosemary.
A very good, funny and touching film. a must see!
on 27 August 2002
Well, all right, this movie isn't falling-down hilariously funny, but it's a far cry above the gross-out "comedies" that are popular at the moment. All too often a movie that's meant to be funny turns out merely crude and vulgar. I, for one, was pleasantly surprised by Shallow Hal.
The plot, as you already know, is about a guy who is completely focussed on women's outward beauty, to the exclusion of all else. He considers himself a playboy, and can't understand why he can't keep a girlfriend. After a mental adjustment from a motivational guru, he begins to see each woman's inner (not outward) beauty. The joke is, he really SEES them as who they are inside... leading to his falling head over heels for a very large woman named Rosy, played by the ultra-slim Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a costume that must've weighed more than she does!
The difference in perception between what he sees and what really is forms the basis for the humour in the movie. Yes, there are "fat jokes" in the movie, but that's to be expected considering the plot. For instance, it wouldn't be nice to make fun of an overweight woman whose chair collapses beneath her at a diner, but when it's a girl who can't possibly weigh 120, the ludicrousness of it catches you off guard. That's the type of humour the movie trades in, so if you think you'll be offended, you probably shouldn't watch.
Overall, the movie's message is good: People deserve to be treated with respect no matter what they look like on the outside; it's what's inside that counts. And there are poignant moments, such as when Hal, in the Pediatric Unit of a hospital, realizes how shallow he really is.
I thought it was a good attempt; it definitely had its amusing moments, and a unique way of making its point.
on 26 April 2005
I loved this film! A lot of new comedies do not make me laugh as much as Shallow Hal did. I have already watched this film twice in the past 2 months because it just cheers me up!
Jack Black stars as Hal, a shallow man who only dates woman that fit his perfect, physical, beauty benchmark. A chance meeting in a broken down lift with self-help guru Tony Robbins (RL celebrity life coach), Hal pours his heart out & Tony hypnotizes him into seeing the inner beauty in people & not they're physical looks. Not soon after Hal has a series of comedic turns with ladies who he see's as beautiful, particularly, Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow -Seven). A large gal who Hal see's as Paltrow's slim self, and falls head over heels in love. But Hal's best friend Mauricio (Jason Alexander -Seinfeld) can't bare to see him like this & sticks his oar in with disastrous consequences as comedy, mayhem & a heartfelt message ensue.
Written & directed by the Farrelly brothers (There's Something About Mary) this heartfelt comedy is along the same lines as that offering in terms of it's humor, but not just a dumb comedy, it has a message to teach us all, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is the main reason i love this movie so much, is that it doesn't go with childish fat jokes all the time and teaches us that this behavior is wrong, as we have a laugh & a bit of a cry as well along the way. It is a really well presented film that uses a great idea, where Hal see's what people perceive as less attractive woman/men as beautiful due to they're personality. And we catch glimpses of what they really look like & what Hal see's, which is done amazingly well.
Jack Black is on good form as the lead, as he gradually grows from this childish, shallow guy into someone who is really nice & likable at heart, who just needed a little nudge to get there. Gwyneth Paltrow was charming as the shy, yet down to earth Rosemary, who had to don some prosthetics for parts of the movie. Jason Alexander was good support as Hal's best friend, whose mentality is that of a 10 year old boy trapped in a 30 something man's body, whose just as shallow as Hal, but because he is insecure.
In conclusion, Shallow Hal is a romantic comedy that we can have a good laugh & cry with, while it's message is one that we all should take to heart more often. Highly recommended.
on 28 January 2003
Shallow Hal is a great story about love, beauty and appearence. Hal (jack black) is a guy who judges women by their appearence. One day he gets trapped in an lift with a self help guru who hypnotiseses him altering Hals perseption of women. He meets women who he sees as beautiful super-models but reali they are ugly. He meets Rosemary,(gwyneth paltrow) she is funni, smart, nice and overweight. Generally the story is a comedy but you cant help feeling sorry for rosie. The story follows Rosie and Hal as they date, through Hals eyes she is beautiful but to everyone else she is an overweight woman and people dont give her a chance. Hal finds himself in love with Rosie. But his best friend breaks the spell off, Hal avoides having to see Rosie until one day he realises he is already in love with her.
Shallow Hal is a great film with a fantastic story line and fantastic acting from Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow. It'l have you crying with Laughter and smiling from the heart warming tale. 'Beauty is on the inside' is the message from this story and it shows it well!
on 17 February 2003
What you get out of "Shallow Hal" probably depends on how you watch it. You could just coast along, brain in neutral, and enjoy the gags and comic situations. On this level, it's a very successful movie - hardly a minute goes by without something funny happening, or (from time to time) a moment of pathos.
Or you could pause a moment to absorb the moral message - never mind physical appearances, concentrate on the beauty (or ugliness) within. That's more or less valid, up to a point, and lets you reinforce your amusement with satisfying feelings of moral superiority. Just the thought that a beautiful girl (and there are plenty of them in "Shallow Hal") could somehow be lurking inside someone who looks plain at first sight, might be enough to stimulate a new interest in wallflowers.
Most fun, though, for those who are that way inclined, is to analyze the message to death! You get all the scope in the world. For instance, how come Hal sees dozens of "inward beauties", but only one physically good-looking woman who is an "inward hag"? And how come he seems to go on seeing his friends just as they always were? And why doesn't he suspect something when, as the girl of his dreams approaches him stark naked and playfully throws her panties at his head, what he catches is something about the size of a bell tent? Come to that, how does he even survive the ensuing grapple?
OK, a little of that sort of thinking goes a long way, and a lot of you are probably annoyed with me already. So, to close the loop, here's one last question that set me meditating for quite a while - if Hal can't help seeing people as they really are, is there any merit in his behaviour? Intuitively no, but after all couldn't virtue be just the natural result of seeing people clearly?..
on 19 January 2003
Shallow Hal is a great romantic comedy. Its about a guy, Hal, who only sees physical beauty in women and does not care about their personality as long as they are beautiful. Hal meets Tony Robins in a lift and Tony alters Hal's perception and makes Hal see the inner beauty of women instead of the outer. Hal then sees Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow) and instantly falls for her. In Hal's eyes she is beautiful but in everyone else's eyes she is a very overweight woman.
The ending is sweet as it always is in romantic comedies. I'm a sucker for romantic comedies so i love this film but if your not a fan of them stay well clear.
The special features on the DVD are quite interesting so getting the DVD is better than getting the VHS.
Top Movie that i could watch over and over again.
What is the world coming to when a movie by the Farrelly brothers makes me cry? I knew I was being set up for something Hal (Jack Black) goes with his new girlfriend Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow) to the Children's Hospital where she volunteers and has a great time with the kids. I knew that Hal was missing something and I could not figure out what it was either (except that it was not contagious), and when the revelation came it floored me almost as much as it did Hal. Interesting times to say the least.
You all know the basic premise of "Shallow Hal." Our hero is only interested in what women look like. There is an unnecessary prologue in which Hal's dying father imparts some drug-induced wisdom that supposedly programs Hal to be shallow. However, he apparently learned how to be inept with women all on his own. Then he has a chance encounter with self-help guru Tony Robbins (played by self-help guru Tony Robbins in a brilliant bit of casting). Now when he goes off into the world, Hal will see the inner beauty of women. Actually he is told it will apply to any "person" he sees, but it does not work on Hal's best friend, Mauricio (Jason Alexander), which would have been interesting. Hal is suddenly having great success with a bevy of beautiful women, but it is Rosemary with whom he is completely smitten.
Granted, there is an inherent flaw in turning inner beauty into outer beauty for a man who has been totally obsessed with the latter, because on the intellectual level that defeats the whole purpose of the fable being told here. I wonder if this film would have worked the other way around, where we always see the truth and get only brief glimpses of what Hal sees. But then Gwyneth Paltrow is not going to be playing the lead, and that would have been a shame.
As long as I am making outrageous comments about this film I might as well say that Paltrow's performance in "Shallow Hal" is better than her Oscar winning performance in "Shakespeare in Love." Forget about the scenes where she wears the "fat suit," it is the rest of the film where she does a marvelous job of acting like an overweight person. Usually Paltrow's character is like fine porcelain china, but this time around her character has some weight (sorry, you knew that was coming), and in this film she is the most attractive she has ever been. For most of the film Black tries too hard, clearly aware he is in a Farrelly brothers film, but in the key scenes (including the one that made me cry) he is on target and when it comes to playing an annoying sidekick Jason Alexander is in a league by himself. But everybody's favorite supporting character is Walt (Rene Kirby), who has spina bifida and establishes the standard by which we judge Hal and the rest of the males in this film (Note: This is one of those films where you have to watch the credits because there is something at the end).
The trailer for "Shallow Hal" gives away virtually every major sight gag in the film, which is actually good because you gloss over those while you watch it and keep your focus on the relationship between Jack and Rosemary. One of the other surprises of this film is that most of the jokes are at Hal's expense and not Rosemary's. But once you get past Paltrow's performance and a tearjerker scene, this ends up being a relatively minor surprise. In the end, "Shallow Hall" is the least funny Farrelly brothers movie, which is actually appropriate.
on 17 October 2006
This is a great movie, very funny indeed. Gwyneth Paltrow is brilliant in here but Jack Black is SUPERB in here, the RIGHT actor for this type of film! He is just funny from start to finish! Go and buy this film!
on 25 October 2004
Although it doesnt have the most intellectual plots (mans dying wishes for his son to only date women of bodily perfection) but as with all of Black's films your guaranteed a few laughs. Get it now!