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Shallow Hal (2001)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 9 November 2001 (USA)
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A shallow man falls in love with a 300 pound woman because of her "inner beauty".
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Rosemary
Jack Black ... Hal
Jason Alexander ... Mauricio
Joe Viterelli ... Steve Shanahan
Rene Kirby Rene Kirby ... Walt
Bruce McGill ... Reverend Larson
Anthony Robbins ... Himself (as Tony Robbins)
Susan Ward ... Jill
Zen Gesner ... Ralph
Brooke Burns ... Katrina
Rob Moran ... Second Tiffany
Joshua 'Li'iBoy' Shintani Joshua 'Li'iBoy' Shintani ... Li'iBoy
Kyle Gass ... Artie
Laura Kightlinger ... Jen
Nan Martin ... Nurse Tanya Peeler
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Are You A Shallow Guy? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shallow Hal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,518,295, 11 November 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$70,836,296, 31 March 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$141,069,860, 1 September 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was filmed primarily in Charlotte. See more »

Goofs

When Hal first meets Rosemary she is wearing black sandals with wooden heels. Later, when she is standing outside waiting for him, she is wearing different, all-black, shoes. See more »

Quotes

Mauricio: Shallow Hal wants a gal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the opening scene when Hal's father passes away in the hospital, his heart rate monitor is shown flat-lining; the EKG line on the monitor remains straight for a few seconds before drawing up "Twentieth Century Fox presents..." in the same format. See more »

Connections

References Gidget (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Stan Gets Me
Written by Lars Luis Linek (as Lars-Luis Linek)
Courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

Missing the point
18 August 2003 | by cmqpSee all my reviews

It's easy to laugh at this film, because the jokes are so broad, but it's equally easy to be offended. The issue I have with the movie is that, in the course of making the point that we should see the inner-beauty in fat people, the Farrellys are implying that by being overweight you are universally ugly. In fact, in the world of Shallow Hal, if you are fat, you are a well-meaning mammoth who couldn't possibly be fancied unless under hypnosis or after an epiphany.

The movie also seems to suggest that the friends of fat people are ugly, and that uglies keep each other's company because no one else will want to associate with them, which is another reinforcement of social divisions. All of Rosemary's (Paltrow) friends are, as we see at the end, equally fat or gross or otherwise physically undesirable. Most disturbingly, the Farrellys undermine the inner-beauty point they've spent $40 million trying to make through Hal, because Hal's friends betray the judgmental reality. When his buddies see Rosemary for what she is, i.e. grossly fat, they are universally horrified in a "what are you doing with her?" way, which carries a more powerful punch than any of the tepid attempts to suggest she's beautiful because of her personality (moulded, we are told, by years of personal abuse because of her size).

The overall message is correct - inner beauty is ultimately what counts, because a sparkling character will outlast youthful good looks by decades. But the Farrelly's have approached the subject in a way that actually insults, rather than genuinely educates. It's not going to uplift anyone who's overweight, it'll just depress them. The majority of the film perpetuates the idea that being fat or ugly makes you a pariah or the object of sympathy or vulgar fascination.

There are some sweet moments, and a few laughs, so the movie's not a wholly worthless experience. But in the process of making its (valid) point it reinforces, rather than rejects, stereotypes.


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