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 grossly 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
The Farrely Brothers, these are very odd film makers, they have such hits like There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and Me, Myself and Irene. I wasn't too thrilled with There's Something About Mary after all the hyped reviews, I was thinking that their other movies would be like that. Especially with the touchy subject of obesity in our world that usually big people are not attractive, making it into a comedy is tricky. But somehow I really loved Shallow Hal. Even though it was a bit hypocritical, it's still really funny and I think it's mainly due to the cast. Jack Black made for a great male lead going from a total jerk into someone that the audience absolutely adored in the end.
Hal, a superficial man, and his equally shallow friend Mauricio, share an interest in beautiful women, and try to act cool and hip when around them, but most women find them obnoxious and want nothing to do with them. Hal wants to see women for their inner beauty, but his fixation on physical beauty gets in the way. By a twist of fate, Hal meets the famous American life coach Tony Robbins while stuck in an elevator. Robbins, understanding Hal's situation, hypnotizes him into seeing people's inner beauty, not their external selves. Subsequently Hal meets and is smitten by Rosemary, the daughter of his boss. Rosemary appears to him as slender and beautiful due to her kind, generous nature, but is, in actuality, morbidly obese. Rosemary, who is used to being overlooked by men due to her appearance, initially interprets Hal's interest in her as mocking and insulting, but later realizes his feelings for her are genuine. Mauricio becomes worried about Hal's new taste in women, especially when he finds Hal is in a relationship with Rosemary. One night, while Hal is on a date with Rosemary, Mauricio catches him and says the trigger phrase, "Shallow Hal wants a gal," which breaks Hal's hypnosis. Now Hal has to learn on his own that the woman that he loves may not have been all that in the looks department, but is everything that he actually wants in a woman.
My main problem with Shallow Hal is it's shallow message, unfortunately Hal, if he wasn't hypnotized, would have never gone for a girl like Rosemary. Even though he learns his lesson, not every shallow man or woman is going to be hypnotized into seeing what true beauty is. But there are some really great laughs that Shallow Hal provides, it's also just a heart warming romantic comedy. It's something different and the cast really made up for what could have been a disastrous movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone who has an open mind to a different kind of comedy with some good laughs.
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