When you fall in love with someone for the first time, what do you fall in love with: physical or inner beauty?
In Shallow Hal, the Farrelly brother’s latest creation, Hal Larsen (Jack Black) is only able to see beauty on the outside. Hal gets stuck in an elevator with self-help guru Tony Robbins (played by Robbins himself), and tells Robbins all about the trouble he is having meeting women. After an impromptu hypnosis, Hal sees only inner beauty and falls in love with Rosemary Shanahan (Gwyneth Paltrow), a 300-pound woman who he thinks weighs a mere 115.
Hal comes as the first leading role for Jack Black, the half of the Tenacious D duo whose film credits include High Fidelity and Saving Silverman, and he holds up under the pressure. Gwyneth Paltrow has more trouble convincing the audience at the beginning of the film because it is difficult to see her as the obese person she is supposed to be.
Shallow Hal is not your typical Farrelly brother’s movie. It lacks the vulgar humor that made hits out of Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. Instead, Shallow Hal focuses more on the actual storyline and less on unforgettable gags.
Although the movie offers plenty of funny parts, many of which are shown in the trailer, the movie is more effective at evoking the audience’s emotion rather than laughter.
Die-hard Farrelly brother fans maybe somewhat disappointed, but Shallow Hal is certainly entertaining. If not anything else, this movie is will make you think about inner beauty and the way in which you look at other people.
Shallow Hal is in theaters Friday.