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|Index||413 reviews in total|
73 out of 82 people found the following review useful:
One of the sweetest movies I've ever seen!, 9 July 2002
Author: mattymatt4ever from Jersey City, NJ
No contest, I will say this marks the best of the Farrelly Brothers. Not
because this film is laugh-out-loud funny--it's funny, but not
hilarious--but because it has a great heart and delivers a beautiful
without any corny Hollywood pretentions. Sure, the premise is funny--a
shallow guy gets virtually hypnotized into thinking all the unattractive
women he sees are foxes and ends up going out with a 500-pound woman who he
also thinks is a fox. It's a great premise, but the Farrellys don't fixate
on that premise alone, preventing it from turning it into a lame, one-joke
slapstick comedy. This is a comedy with heart--a rare finding. In between
laughs, you really get wrapped up in the characters and storyline. The
flow quite naturally, without the Farrellys forcing any humor onto the
screen. If a comic opportunity comes along, they take advantage, but
there's no random acts of slapstick.
I am pleasantly surprised with Jack Black, who has proved in this movie that he doesn't only have what it takes as a comic actor, but also as a serious actor and a romantic lead. I've always enjoyed seeing him on screen, but he usually plays the same wound-up, hyperkinetic characters. Basically, he's funny, but you still know you're watching Jack Black on screen. This time he exercises his ability as a method actor, he succeeds well. Gwyneth Paltrow is adorable and sweet, capturing the audience's sympathy with her winning smile. Joe Viterelli is amusing as her overweight Irish father, and actually pulls off a fairly convincing Irish accent. The sizzling hot Brooke Burns makes a few appearances. And Jason Alexander is always a joy to watch.
I think "Shallow Hal" does the best job at conveying the message that beauty is on the inside. It has been conveyed before in films like "The Nutty Professor," but I feel this film conveyed it best. This could've easily been a 105-minute fat joke, but it doesn't travel that route. There are no crude or mean-spirited gags. Could it be that the Farrelly Brothers matured? Even of the films of theirs that I liked (ex.: "Dumb and Dumber," "There's Something About Mary") are a little uneven and contain a few gags that are just plain cruel. Like in "Mary," Cameron Diaz's brother is mentally ill and the butt of a few jokes. Here, we have a character that walks on both his arms and legs, but he's portrayed as a normal character, and not as a gimmick for some cheap laughs. There are moments that really tugged at my heartstrings. The "burn victim" scene brought quite a few tears to my eyes. The story is solid, with no boring lulls. And the soundtrack is pretty good--I have criticized the Farrellys in the past for using crappy music in their sountracks.
If you're looking for a good romantic/date movie with some good laughs and a good message, "Shallow Hal" will be an absolute delight.
My score: 8 (out of 10)
70 out of 91 people found the following review useful:
This movie is very funny., 11 September 2003
Author: scarlet_8 from NYC
I loved this movie and thought Jack Black was at his best in it. He carried the whole movie along with Gwyneth Paltrow and they both did an excellent job filling roles unlike any they have done before. Many people will like this non traditional comedy that has a strong moral message. If you are someone who enjoys a lighthearted meaningful story than definitely see this movie. Don't be fooled by reviews that say it makes fun of overweight people (only) because it's message is that size doesn't and shouldn't matter. Yes, the main characters are shallow and say some awful things, but their main purpose is to represent those of us who need to change the way we view and treat other human beings. I've always like Jack Black as a comedian but never pictured him as a "boyfriend" character until seeing this movie. He was able to transform the very shallow unappealing Hal into a very likeable person. See it for Gwyneth if anything, she is very cute in it.
59 out of 87 people found the following review useful:
Funny film about lacking depth, 9 September 2002
Author: K-Slicer from In A Confined Space
"Shallow Hal" is the best film about love, dating, and being shallow that I have seen since "The Tao Of Steve". This is also the best Farrelly Brothers film I have ever seen. It even beats out "There's Something About Mary". Jack Black rocks as 'Shallow' Hal Larsen, a man who wants the perfect woman but ends up falling for the perfect woman. Gwyneth Paltrow did very well as Hal's overweight but big-hearted girlfriend. Not only were the characters well-written, the story was well executed and well plotted. It was unexpected in several ways and I really liked it. The Farrelly Brothers score a critically-acclaimed in-park home run with "Shallow Hal". I give this film 10 out of 10!
42 out of 55 people found the following review useful:
Incredibly sweet, charming movie, 16 August 2003
Author: ShrekMemento from Long Island, NY
I know many complain it wasnt as funny as past farelly movies such as "Something about Mary" or "Kingpin". But it wasnt supposed to be. It was intended to be a comedy, and it was extremely successful, and it was very funny, however it wasnt supposed to be non-stop, grossout laughs like their past efforts. I always liked the Farelly Brothers's movies because while hilarious, they always had an underlying sweetness to them. I think this one prevailed the most in that department- I think 'Shallow Hal' is an incredibly sweet, and even more upon second viewing, just a charming, great movie-watching experience. I think if people give it another chance and cut it some slack in the non-stop jokes department, they will see it for the great, enjoyable movie with a message that it really is.
38 out of 50 people found the following review useful:
An enjoyable flick., 11 February 2003
Part comedy, drama, and romance this one was a rather good little movie to watch. Black and Paltrow were great and Jason Alexander was hilarious. The movie is about a guy named Hal who is a rather decent guy, but he has a problem. When picking women he only looks at the outer beauty of a woman...this is explained in the opening scene. Hal gets trapped in an elevator with a guy who opens Hal's mind to the inner beauty of women. Hal then suddenly finds the more unattractive girls perfect for him and this leads to some funny scenes. This also leads him to Rose Mary a gal he finds perfect, but everyone else sees a 300lb gal. This movie says a lot about how shallow our society is and does a good job of it. Though I don't think every unattractive or fat gal is beautiful on the inside and every attractive gal is ugly on the inside as the movie implies. The movie also could have been more clear that people Hal already knows would still look the same. I just wish ladies were as open and approachable as the movie portrays.
39 out of 52 people found the following review useful:
Pretty Funny Film With A Good Message, 25 October 2006
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
Do you judge a person - particularly a woman - by her outward
appearance? If you do, you're "shallow" and that's the message played
out in this comedy.
The humor in here is good, very funny in spots. There are plenty of jokes and sight gags. If you are obese and very sensitive, then skip this film because you won't appreciate some of the humor in this film. But, if you can laugh at yourself, you'll enjoy it too - and especially the message this film brings.
Jack Black was pretty much of an unknown actor when this came out, but he's well-known now after School Of Rock, King Kong and other films. Gwyneth Paltrow everyone knows. She looked very pretty in here, maybe the best I've ever seen her. Jason Alexander and Joe Viterelli provide good supporting help. By the way, it was strange hearing Viterelli with an Irish accent. This is a guy who almost always plays Mafia types.
The only thing offensive to me was the beginning with some irreverent humor that was not needed, not part of the story, just a cheap shot against ministers. Also, for a lightweight comedy, the profanity could have been less. Can't someone make a modern-day comedy without language and sex issues? I wish someone would at least try. It can be done - just look at the classics!
Anyway, this is still a pretty funny story with, of course, a good message about judging a book by its cover.
21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
I think I should watch it once more, 5 January 2003
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
A frustrating film in a way. I was hugely disappointed in it for a long while, but as the film progressed I kept wondering if my disappointment was merely a product of my unfair expectations. That's probably the case. I expect a daring comedy from the Brothers Farrelly, but Shallow Hal is surprisingly low-key. It doesn't go for easy laughs, as it easily could have done. The plot concerns a looks-obsessed guy (Jack Black) who is hypnotized into seeing the inner beauty of others. He falls in love with a fat woman who appears to him as Gwyneth Paltrow. When the film came out, a lot of people complained that this was terrible; he only loves her because he is attracted to Gwyneth Paltrow, not the fat incarnation that appears in only a couple of shots in the first 90 minutes of the film. But these people didn't really stick around for the payoff in the third act. What's so surprising about this film is how emotionally involving it is. A lot of this is due to Gwyneth Paltrow, who actually gives one of her best performances. But fans of the Farrelly Brothers, as I am myself, will not be shocked to find that emotional center. It was there in both Kingpin and There's Something About Mary. It's just as fun when the Brothers are mean-spirited, however, as they were in Me, Myself, & Irene and, even better, the unfairly maligned Dumb and Dumber. The serious themes are really on full display here, though. The Brothers have a true and touching affection for physical outsiders. I still wish that they wouldn't have forsaken comedy so much, though. I suppose the only jokes would have been fat jokes, but maybe not. Jason Alexander provides almost all of the good laughs. We wonder why he and Jack Black are so mean about the looks of others when they aren't especially gorgeous themselves. Some people are still asking how such a man as Jason Alexander can be so shallow in this film, but they, as I've said before, didn't stick around until the end. This film may improve on repeat viewings, as it was bothering me for a long while. 7/10.
13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
I actually liked it, 22 November 2003
Author: Kristine (email@example.com) from Chicago, Illinois
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
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.
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Warm, romantic, and funny., 15 March 2008
Author: johnbear80 from United States
Guys, let me hand you one piece of advice. If you have a girlfriend or S.O. of another designation who has self-esteem issues, sit down with her and introduce her to this movie. I can't recommend it enough. It's the kind of romantic comedy that you can both enjoy evenly, without one of you or the other gritting their teeth and trying to make it look like a smile. Yes, it shows people being shallow, callous, and sometimes mean, but it also portrays some of those same people growing, maturing, and taking on depth. The casting is great. Gwyneth Paltrow is cute and sweet, and Jack Black walks the line between comedic goofball and serious romantic very well. Sure, there's a predictable happy ending, but the most popular romance stories tend to have that in common. Romeo and Juliet isn't everyone's cup of chai, after all. There are laughs, but this movie has heart, too. 10 out of 10. Both thumbs way up.
17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Cute little pic-not great but good., 17 August 2003
Author: triple8 from Conn
Paltrow's pretty good here, I enjoyed this movie a lot. Not great but
certainly good, carries a nice message and it's a good premise.
However, a lot of people did get offended by this. The movie kind of does that to itself-though the theme here is "everybodys' beautiful" etc etc and meant to look at how much women are judged by their looks, the movie wasn't as bold as it could have been. If it REALLY wanted to take hold of this issue there would have been more of the "heavy paltrow" not just a few quick shots. Shows the thin paltrow a lot more and it shouldn't. Does anyone get the feeling the movie was almost afraid of it's own subject matter? That's what takes the "oomph" out of the movie and makes it a sweet little picture rather then an outstanding film. Still, it's OK-I know many people, both heavy and thin who saw this, most were not offended by the picture but had the movie aimed for serious movie making instead of predictable Hollywood fare(the former would have been more appropriate for the subject matter at hand) the movie would have been a lot better.
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