Shallow Hal (2001)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5

USA/Germany, 2001, , .  Screenplay by , Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, , .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Much was made of the subject matter of this film, whether it was in good taste or not, etc., but whether or not it passes muster with your sensitivity level has no impact on the fact that it just isn’t funny. , in a grating performance, plays a thimble-shallow individual who only thinks that supermodel-gorgeous women are worth his time. A brief stint in a broken-down elevator with self-help guru Tony Robbins (who is breezily charming, surprisingly enough) ends with him being placed under hypnosis and, following that, he can only see the beauty inside the girls he meets, instead of their exterior selves. This means that when 300-pound Rosemary crosses his path, all he sees is licorice-skinny Gwyneth Paltrow, and he falls madly in love with her.  While the Farrelly brothers get points for giving dignity to characters who would otherwise be the butt of jokes in other movies (in their movies, for example, the physically challenged characters always get laid), it can’t be said that they really help to liberate viewers from any stereotyped ideas they might have brought in with them. The film has its heart in the right place, but it often goes for cliches about fat girls and geeky boys that, while not necessarily offensive, aren’t particularly entertaining either. Paltrow is appealing, but neither she nor the directors manage to live up to the quality of either There’s Something About Mary or Dumb And Dumber.

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