Shallow Hal : Movie Review

Shallow Hal is the latest offering from the Farrelly Brothers, the ones that gave us Dumb & Dumber (1994) and There's Something About Mary (1998) . It's hard to imagine that with this background that they will have the capability to produce a film tackling a sensitive issue such as obesity with any kind of humanity. What they have managed to create however is a very good attempt which I'm sure will surprise many with its subtleness.

Hal - played by Jack Black, known for his role as Barry in High Fidelity (2000), has gone through his life with the last words of his dying father ingrained in his mind. He has been told to only go for the best looking girls and except nothing but the best. With a similar philosophy is his flat mate Mauricio (George Costanza from Seinfeld) Mauricio is in fact George, it's as if he's walked straight off the Seinfeld set and into the film, his mannerisms and expressions are just the same, not that this is a bad thing because it's a well suited character for the role.

Hals life takes a big turn when he meets hypnotist Tony Robbins, who is so amazed at his shallowness that Hal receives some free therapy. This is the beginning for a new Hal, one which only sees the inner beauty of people, and it isn't long before he meets Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow) the woman of his dreams. Paltrow does well in this role and plays it very convincingly, we know all the time that she isn't as she appears by the way that she acts - with a self conscious awareness. It should be mentioned that the make up crew did a great job with the fat suit for Rosemary.

From the trailers it seems as if you might be in for a lot of fat jokes and predicable humor, and though the gags get in there, they are far less in-your-face than they could be. The Farrelly brothers have taken a risk with Shallow Hal and on the whole they have succeeded in creating a funny, thought provoking film helped a great deal by the talents of Gwyneth Paltrow who adapts so well to the character.

A big fat thumbs up for Shallow Hal.

With thanks to the Warner Village Cinema at
Clifton Moor Centre, York. UK.

Author : John Harbisher Of