Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
Henry Roth is a man afraid of commitment up until he meets the beautiful Lucy. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day.
Following the advice of his dying father, Hal dates only women who are physically beautiful. One day, however, he runs into self-help guru Tony Robbins, who hypnotizes him into recognizing only the inner beauty of women. Hal thereafter meets Rosemary, a largely obese woman whom only he can see as a vision of loveliness. But will their relationship survive when Hal's equally shallow friend undoes the hypnosis? Written by
In Roger Ebert's review he states, "Only the most attentive audience members will catch the Farrellys' subtle reference to a famous poem by Emily Dickinson." Ebert's reference is to a fly that buzzes in the death scene of Hal's father; the poem is, "I heard a Fly buzz - when I died" See more »
When Hal meets the "good-looking" Ralph and Li'iBoy in the restaurant, it is obvious that the HEAVY Li'iBoy's voice is being badly dubbed for good-looking Li'iBoy (Ron Darling). At one point, the audio is "what's up bro" when he meets Hal, but he is clearly mouthing "what's up MAN". See more »
You got a pattern of judging women by their exterior, we can't talk about it, we need to break it, I want you to ask yourself has there ever been a time where you have been increasingly shallow, you just looked at a woman and thought you were better then she was.
All the time.
[Tony Robbins puts his hands on Hal's head]
DEVILS COME OUT!
What the hell are you doing banana hands?
Just hang on, remember how I told you we just got to jolt your nervous system, not just talking about it, now I ...
[...] See more »
While the credits roll, the photos of all crew members involved in the making the film are shown. See more »
"Shallow Hal" is a mix of a very sweet and earnest love story with a comedy that often doesn't really work. I was won over by the fantasy love element and I do think it has more appeal than it doesn't. The idea that the titular character Hal (Jack Black) is a shallow guy who gets hypnotized into seeing women as they are inside instead of what they look like on the outside. He begins falling in love with Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), a fat woman that has a big heart.
Alright, that premise doesn't really make any sense because how could Hal know what people are like on the inside unless he knew them intimately, and unless the hypnosis also messed around with his sense of touch and his strength, there's no way he wouldn't realize that his vision is all kinds of screwed up, but let's just get past that. I feel like there's some good potential for humor with this premise, like if say a hot shot celebrity had an "ugly" sister and Hal confused one for the other, or he was a makeup artist (or even funnier, a plastic surgeon) and he started going crazy with people's faces even though they didn't need it. I'm sure you can come up with some good ideas too. Not a lot of the potential is used here. What we do get plenty of is exactly what you would expect from the premise. Hit or miss jokes about Hal thinking that some ladies are hot while everyone around him stands dumbfounded, fat jokes, and visual gags of seeing beautiful women looking at big clothes or plates full of food and they don't even have the courtesy of coming in quickly enough to build off of each other and make you laugh.
What saves the movie, and I would say actually makes it legitimately good is the love plot. As a fine male specimen with impeccable features that regularly has to fight the ladies off with a stick, you might not think that a story about an insecure lady who has been ignore her whole life one day discovering a man that falls head over heels for her would necessarily phase me, but it really did. If you've ever felt like you were judged because of what you looked like on the outside, that part of the movie will really drive home and it will make you smile. This comedy could have dropped the ball badly by handling the hypnotism thing the wrong way, making it feel like Hal is simply tricked into loving her, but without giving away what exactly happens during the conclusion, I felt like it handled that potential problem very well. This could have easily become a tasteless, mean-spirited mess, one that gets its laughs at the expense of "unattractive people" and I'm glad to say that it doesn't. The conclusion really pulls it all together and makes the shaky premise work. Overall "Shallow Hal" isn't of the Farrelly Brothers' funniest film but it probably is their most heartwarming. (On DVD, November 12, 2012)
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