2001 Running time: 113 Certificate: 12 Not yet rated
Shallow Hal 1S

Synopsis

It's what's on the inside that counts... At least to everyone but Hal Larsen (Jack Black) who, following the advice of his dying father, only dates women who score highly on the hubba-hubba scale. But when a self-help guru hypnotizes him to only judge women by their inner beauty, he falls for the sweet but obese Rosemary, who looks like Gwyneth Paltrow to him but looks more like Gwyneth Sumo to everyone else. Another super-sized effort to tickle ribs and touch nerves from those fearless Farrelly brothers - creators of Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary.

Directors

  • Peter Farrelly

  • Bobby Farrelly

Cast

  • Jack Black

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

  • Jason Alexander

Review

It used to be claimed that fat was a feminist issue...but now gross-out merchants the Farrelly brothers have got their hands full of it.

You wouldn't expect Pete and Bob to concern themselves over much with gender politics and no, you're quite right, they don't.

But what they have come up with is their most consistently subtle movie yet...and it's still laugh-out-loud funny.

Hal Larsen (the excellent Jack Black) only finds beauty in supermodels and centrefolds - the first thing he looks for in a woman is good looks.

However, an impromptu hypnosis session in a trapped lift with self-help guru Tony Robbins changes all that.

Hal now judges women by their inner beauty - a view that troubles his traditionally inclined pal Mauricio (Jason Alexander).

Things step up a gear when he begins dating Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit), but he actually sees the Gwyneth we all know from Shakespeare in Love.

"Doesn't she just take the cake," Frank swoons to Mauricio. "She takes the whole bakery," comes his terse reply.

If she has trouble believing he's taking her seriously, then everyone else - particularly Mauricio - think he's totally lost the plot.

In fact, the less charitable among them reckon he's only going out with her because her dad (Joe Viterelli) is boss of his company.

You can look at the Farrelly brothers in two ways - utterly insensitive purveyors of vulgarity, or a couple of rough-around-the-edge guys challenging politically correct preconceptions.

Either way, this is funny stuff with a definite lurch away from the excesses of Dumb & Dumber and Me, Myself and Irene.

"Who says Rosemary is unattractive?" asks Tony Robbins. "Bausch and Lomb," is Mauricio's argument-ending reply. Feast on it.

Tim Evans

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