Starring: Jack Black, Gwenyth Paltrow and Jason Alexander
Directed: By Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Hal's name says it all! It's a movie about "one of those"
guys who thinks he's God's personal gift to women, that looks
only at the size of the implants or waistline while perusing women.
But this Hal chap is in for some well-needed psychological reworking.
there's going to be protest about the politically incorrectness
of deeming women with the big-boned-and-beyond as less than hot
attractive feline specimens. But, let's face it, we love beauty
and sveltness here in America (and France) and we worship attractive
specimens! And that includes women and their perspective on manly-men
too. We can be just as shallow
not myself mind you
brings me to what I think was a clever ploy from the Farrelly
Bros; they took Jack Black, a bulbous mini-featured dweeb-like
quazi-man and had him play the shallowest man of all (Hal), but
with that all-too-often-the-case personality flaw where the dweeb
actually believes himself to not only be attractive to women,
but an present from the angels, a gift from god. If they cast
a stud-muffin like say, George Clooney or mega-pretty-boy- Brad
Pitt, or even twice Farrelly'ed gettin' hotter with age, Jim Carrey,
as the obnoxious Hal, the audience would be throwing stuff at
but they didn't! Jack Black oozes obnoxiousness
and we all know at least one of these mutants ourselves
so we are less hostile as the story unfolds.
meet Hal (Jack- looking less obtuse of late-Black) and his best
friend Mauricio (Jason boy, am lucky I got on SeinfeldAlexander)
both are dancing (I guess) in a club, forcing their bad ritual-like
mate finding techniques on the suffering womenfolk. Hal's an exceptionally
bubonic jerk. He's fat, excuse me heavyset, dresses bad and needs
a good pluck between the brows
but who noticed. Of course
he thinks he's a stud-o-matic stuck on full throttle (oh how we
women suffer as there are so many versions of this man species
roaming wild in the streets). The two never really score and,
naturally, blame the rudeness of the beautiful on their own follies.
Hal gets stuck in an elevator with self-help giant (pun intended)
Anthony Robbins (as himself). Anthony
hypnotizes Hal allowing the putrid manpod to see the inner beauty
of gals. Now it's not whether they're a size 16+, or have a hook
nose that would make Barbara Streisand look like she's had rhinoplasty
that Hal sees, but the glowing inner beauty these outwardly socially
ostracized women have in hidden their souls. In other words all
he sees are gorgeous women
Hollywood thin, model types (so
technically he's still shallow no? There's not a "normal"
gal among the cast...).
he meets the girl of his dreams; wafer thin Rosey (Gwenyth -laser
thin- Paltrow). But, as the writers Sean Moynihan and the Farrellys
have set up, Hal doesn't see Rosey's rotund Volkswagon Beetle-ish
300+ pound frame, complete with cankles (calves s that have no
definition and blend into the ankle - it's in the film), he sees
a lanky thin Rosey.
falling for Rosie, and his best friend, Mauricio, who's not hypnotized,
He must help his happy friend! Hal must be unhypnotized
and see the "hippo" he's dating before it's too late
and he's hopelessly, mindlessly in love with someone for something
other than their rack! Hardeeharha.
now you're wishing it was a handsome cast as Hal and Mauricio
because it starts to grate on your nerves that these two gnats
have the audacity to think themselves even one mill inch above
these less-than-gorgeous women we, the audience sees. You don't
believe these two could be so delusional, they certainly own a
mirror don't they?
Hal and Mauricio are more like caricatures of lounge lizard men
with the perpetual selection of pens in their breast pocket. They
are so unbelievable you lose your suspension of belief early on
and start to stuff your face like a Pig-a-snaurus Rex, inhaleatroning
on everything from the econ- size Junior Mints box, to a plutonium
butter mix sprayed mega-bucket of popcorn just to stay
we all know we judge- let's face it. Beauty is in the eye of the
beholder, sure, but what we "behold" is pumped into
us by high paid market analysts and bad fashion designers that
clothes styles only hang well on the terribly anorexic. We're
not really to blame, we are conditioned! The point is made that
being shallow isn't where it's at Jack
but then why not cast
one normal looking gal in with the stable of paper thin,
glamour cats Hal's hypno-eyes fall upon if you're really trying
to give your audience a moral lesson boys? Hmm?
line, Shallow Hal has a great comedy premise but is a lousy
movie. Dear god I thought it would never end! It's just not that
funny and the shtick gets old fast. The Farrelly Brothers are
usually refreshingly politically incorrect, and have a special
knack for zeroing in on someone's flaw. Heck, I'm all for for
a good laugh at another's expense, comedy is mean! But with Shallow
Hal, the laughs are all in the trailer. Even when they tried
to shock us with the Spina Bifida man running around on all fours
- daring us to laugh and be cruel, it just seemed trite and canned
not light and fluffy comedy like say the infamous zippered penis
from Something About Mary, or Jeff Daniels' flaring diarrhea
in Dumb and Dumber...I just expect more, damn them!
Recommendation: Banana Finger tarts and a whole heapin' helpin'
of chili fries