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Shallow Hal

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Shallow Hal

Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jack Black
Director: Peter Farrelly
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: November 2001
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Jason Alexander, Libby Langdon, Sascha Knopf, Joe Viterelli, Susan Ward, Kyle Gass

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---
4.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
5.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

P> What can you say about a Farrelly brothers movie that just isn't very funny? This romantic comedy revolves around the admirable idea that a person's inner beauty outshines exterior appearances. Hal (Jack Black) is a pudgy investment-house employee and wannabe stud who drifts from one meaningless relationship to another because he and his portly buddy (Jason Alexander) only go for ultra-attractive women. Then, one day, Hal is trapped in a stuck elevator with real-life motivational guru Tony Robbins, who gives him an attitude adjustment by hypnotizing him to see only the inner beauty in people. So when Hal spies obese Rosemary Shanahan (Gwyneth Paltrow) buying lingerie, he doesn't perceive that she's supersized, only that she's a kind, funny, caring person. A Peace Corps worker who volunteers in the Pediatric Burn Unit at a local hospital while waiting for her next posting, Rosemary also happens to be Hal's boss's daughter. Much to the bewilderment of Hal's friends and skepticism of Rosemary's parents, an idyllic romance develops - until the spell is broken and Hal must face the most important decision of his life. Written by Sean Moynihan and directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the concept is inconsistent, the pacing is awful, and the laughs are few and far between, which may be why there's a crude, seemingly tacked-on scene in which Jason Alexander reveals a particularly gross appendage. Willowy Gwyneth Paltrow looks gorgeous in Hal's eyes and gross in her fat-suit. But bland Jack Black ("High-Fidelity") can't match her style. The most spirited performance comes from Rene Kirby, who has spina bifida and scampers around on all fours. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Shallow Hal" is a superficial 4 - too shallow for its own good.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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